Oregon ‘Dignity & Dining’ Program goes nationwide
Jan 05,2007 00:00 by Bend Weekly News Sources

Monday marked the first anniversary of the grass-roots organization “Dignity & Dining” program, founded by Jerry Atlansky in Estacada, Oregon.  The program feeds the needy in restaurants, seeking to fill the unmet needs of the community.  Organizers are proud that after a very successful one year in operation at three restaurants -- two in Estacada and one in Sandy, Oregon -- they are now prepared to expand the service throughout the United States.

The first restaurant to participate was Harmony Bakery Company, who displays on their menus and staff uniforms, "We have a place at our table for everyone."  They have received very kind notes of special thanks, and a local church leader has referred people in need to this unique program at Harmony Bakery.

The owner of Hitchin’ Post Pizza learned about the program from local media, and called to join as the second participant.  The Hitchin’ Post Pizza served food for children that qualify for free school meals at a local park during the summer months.

Shorty’s Corner Café in Sandy, Oregon also learned of the program from a news article and became the third participating restaurant.

The organization provides free listings for all participating restaurants which include directions.  Visit www.dignityanddining.org to see why restaurant owners are appreciative of the community’s support in making this a permanent program.

According to the World Health Organization, one third of the world is well fed, one third under fed, and one third are starving.  “That adds up to 45,000 people of all ages who are dying every 24 hours worldwide,” said Atlansky, “and now a program was created with the most access for the needy -- with more hours every day of the year at restaurants to help them get back on their feet.”

Atlansky and the Dignity & Dining Program were inspired by a family in Los Angeles, California that, for 70 years, have not turned away one hungry person who couldn’t afford to pay for a meal at their restaurant, Clifton’s Cafeteria.

Atlansky invites all restaurant owners or companies to contact him for more information, or to join the program.  He can be reached at 503.630.3681, ext. 2006, or by email at jerry@dignityanddining.org, or by visiting the program’s web site at www.dignityanddining.org.