No one would expect a three-course dinner at a fine local restaurant, or a couple of dishes enjoyed at a favorite lunch spot, to provide enough sustenance to feed a family of four.
Unless one orders these meals during Restaurant Week.
Between Friday, Sept. 6, and Sunday, Sept. 15, 55 area restaurants will take part in the 13th annual Restaurant Week, offering special prie-fixe menus for brunch, lunch and dinner, as well as specialty drinks.
A portion of the proceeds from these meals and libations will be donated to the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma for its Food for Kids programming.
“We have seven programs that are part of our Food for Kids initiative, and we spread the funds we get through Restaurant Week among those programs,” said Jenny Berry, media coordinator for the food bank.
Prices for the Restaurant Week specials are $15 for a two- to three-course lunch, $22 for two to three courses at brunch, and $20 to $45 for dinner, depending on the number of courses included. Signature cocktail prices vary by location.
Most of the participating restaurants are offering lunch and dinner menus, as well as specialty drinks. Two downtown-area establishments — The Chalkboard in the Ambassador Hotel, 1324 S. Main St., and Duet Restaurant & Jazz, 108 N. Detroit Ave. — will offer the full complement of menus for brunch, lunch and dinner, along with a unique drink creation.
“When it comes to donations, every dollar buys about four meals for an individual or a family,” Berry said. “And for each meal, there is a different donation amount.”
The $15 lunch price includes a $2 donation, enough to supply eight meals for Tulsa-area youngsters dealing with hunger.
Brunch prices include a $3 donation, while the dinner menus will contribute between $3 and $7 to the food bank.
“So someone who has lunch at one participating restaurant, and then has dinner at another, will donate enough to pay for 20 to 36 meals for those in need,” Berry said.
The programs that will benefit from Restaurant Week include:
• The Food for Kids Backpack Program, which provides nutritious, kid-friendly food to food-insecure students to take home Friday after school. The food bank distributes thousands of backpacks of food to schools each week to students in preschool through elementary in Tulsa County.
• The School Pantry Program, which provides food to low-income high school and middle school students and their families. The School Pantry system better meets the needs of older students in terms of appetite, choice and appeal.
• Free Family Farmers’ Markets, which provides fresh produce and bakery items to low-income students and their families through a partnership with Community Action Project and its Early Childhood Development Centers and Educare sites.
• School’s Out, Meals In, which tries to help fill that gap for families by providing meals for children in high-poverty areas during extended school holidays and over summer vacation.
• Community School Dinners, which provide meals for a variety of school functions, including parent-teacher conferences, reading workshops and back-to-school nights to help increase participation and foster a sense of community between families and school faculty.
• After School Fuel, offering healthy after-school meals in partnership with the food bank, community organizations and the federal Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP). Currently, this partnership includes providing hot meals and nutritious shelf-stable meals for children at several program sites.
This year’s event will begin with a kick-off event from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday, Sept. 6, at Mother Road Market, 1124 S. Lewis Ave. During this event, 10% of all sales from the merchants in Tulsa’s first food hall will go to the food bank.
In addition, Mother Road Market will have food donation sites set up at its entrances, with the donated food going to the food bank’s School Pantry Program.
Also, Albert G’s Barbecue’s downtown location, 421 E. First St., will be donating 10% of all proceeds Friday, Sept. 13, to the food bank.
Restaurants that will be participating in Restaurant Week for the first time this year are Bird & Bottle, the downtown and Riverwalk locations of the Bramble Breakfast & Bar, Duet Restaurant & Jazz, Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse, Jane’s Delicatessen, Neighborhood JA.M., Peacemaker Lobster & Crab Co., Roppongi and SMOKE Owasso.
A full list of participating restaurants, along with complete menus, can be found online at tulsapeople.com/restaurantweek.
For more information on the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma: okfoodbank.org.