Dine out – and help out
People will have a chance to help the needy while dining out this Christmas.
Auckland chef Mark Gregory is starting up a charity called DineAid, based on the international charity Streetsmart.
During November and December, diners will be asked if they would like to add $2 to their bill.
With corporate sponsors covering administration costs, all the money donated will go to a range of charities.
“One hundred percent of the money stays in New Zealand to help New Zealanders,” says Mr Gregory.
It will benefit organisations helping families at risk and youth training and mentoring.
Mr Gregory says he has personally signed up about 30 restaurants and more than 100 venues in Auckland, Wellington and Queenstown are participating.
“From the restaurants’ point of view, why not? They are shown to be good citizens in their local communities and it doesn’t cost them anything.”
Having been involved with Streetsmart while working in the United Kingdom, Mr Gregory saw how successful it became and decided to start DineAid when he returned to New Zealand.
His mother Christine has volunteered to run the Mt Eden office and Mr Gregory will work fulltime on getting the charity up and running.
“If we only had 150 restaurants and they did 20 tables a day for the 54 days DineAid runs, we would raise $300,000. That would be fantastic.”
So far the charity has gathered support from people in the industry and New Zealand celebrities including musician Tim Finn and broadcaster John Hawkesby.
Charity chef: Mark Gregory is starting DineAid to benefit charities.