You may already have read about it on Ed's blog, but I wanted to draw your attention to the StreetSmart campaign running from 9 November - 24 December 2009. StreetSmart is a charity that supports and strengthens smaller, grassroots community organisations helping the homeless.
A bit more about the campaign, quoting from the StreetSmart Australia website:
For the six weeks in the lead-up to Christmas, StreetSmart partners with restaurants to ask diners to make a small donation to StreetSmart on their bill. Every table is asked to add $2 or more to their bill, not even the price of a coffee or mineral water. It’s a simple idea that adds up to a big impact on the lives of people who are homeless.
So when you are planning a night out think about taking a simple action and book at a StreetSmart participating restaurant. While you are there encourage your fellow diners to dig deep and leave your donation on your bill. Be it meeting up with friends, family or an office or business function we need you to get involved.
Please remember that your donation should not replace any tip you would usually leave, we want you to consider any donation over and above your tip and support the staff and restaurants who are supporting us.
100% of your donation goes to work:
StreetSmart operational expenses are funded through sponsorship partners allowing us to guarantee to the community that 100% of your donations are distributed directly to charity recipients.
One of the great things about the StreetSmart campaign is that it helps smaller organisations that rarely receive extra funding and often lack the resources to fundraise or access the networks for grants and funding. You can learn more about the initiatives that the funding helped since its Australian inception in 2003 here.
A full list of restaurants participating in 2009 is here.
Of the participating restaurants, these are the ones I've reviewed (with links to my reviews):
Anada, 197 Gertrude Street, Fitzroy
Birdman Eating, 238 Gertrude Street, Fitzroy
**newly participating** Cumulus Inc, 45 Flinders Lane, Melbourne
Cutler and Co, 55-57 Gertrude Street, Fitzroy
ezard, 187 Flinders Lane, Melbourne
Gingerboy, 27-29 Crossley Street, Melbourne
Ladro, 224 Gertrude Street, Fitzroy
Laksa Me, 1/16 Liverpool Street, Melbourne
Longrain, 44 Little Bourke Street, Melbourne
Paladarr Thai Issan, 7 Rowe Street, Alphington
Panama Dining Room, 3/231 Smith Street, Fitzroy
Portello Rosso, 15 Warburton Lane, Melbourne
Provenance, 288 Smith Street, Collingwood
Red Spice Road, 27 McKillop St, Melbourne
St Ali 12-18 Yarra Place, South Melbourne
St Jude's Cellars, 389-391 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy
And in Noosa:
River House, 301 Weyba Road, Noosaville
Wasabi, 2 Quamby Place, Noosa Sound
If you're planning a meal out in the next six weeks, I urge you to consider choosing one of these (or one of the other participating restaurants) and donating to the campaign. I'm planning on visiting a few of the ones I haven't been to yet (at this stage I'm most interested in checking out Libertine and The Deanery, but am open to suggestions - feel free to leave a comment nominating your favourite restaurant on the list), and will write them up on the blog.
If you work in a restaurant that would like to participate in the campaign (and don't worry, it's not too late to join), find more info here. Let me know if you join the campaign, and I'll edit this post to include your details. I'm also happy to promote the details of any other restaurants already participating in the campaign that I haven't gotten around to reviewing yet.
If you're a food blogger and would like to help promote the campaign, Ed has plenty of great ideas on his related post.
You can also donate directly to the campaign here.
To stay updated on StreetSmart news and events, follow @StreetSmartAust on Twitter or join its Facebook group.
Oh, and speaking of Facebook: there's now a Facebook page for Melbourne Gastronome. If you're a fan, why not Become a Fan? As well as sending a notification when the blog is updated, I'll also be writing the occasional silly note on the Facebook page wall - and only on the Facebook page wall - about blog-related trivia (such as the one I wrote this week entitled "PR: how to irritate a food blogger while trying to score free advertising on their blog for the product you're flogging").