Back-to-school means bare shelves at Crosslines food pantry, because clients are using their funds elsewhere and turning to the pantry more.
JOMO Restaurant Week aims to help replenish those shelves. Held twice a year at times when supply is low, 21 local restaurants participate and incentivize for customers to give back while eating local.
"We recognize the need to fill the pantries at a crucial time. I mean this is the end of summer, people typically think about the pantry over the holidays, when they get a lot of stuff. But in the middle of summer and the dead of winter is when we usually have the other one. The pantry is empty, so we're trying to fill that pantry," owner of Instant Karma Gourmet Hot Dogs, Jason Miller said.
Instant Karma was one of the founders of restaurant week and is using the opportunity to up the ante this year in rolling out a new menu on Monday to get customers in the door and giving back.
"You bring a canned good with you and you're going to get something. Everybody does something different, whether it's a dessert or some kind of discount or an appetizer for free, and just remember when you do that, who the food is going to. I think that's the important thing," Miller said.
Over at Crosslines, volunteer Carmelita Rocourt explains they are in dire need of canned fruit, sugar, flour, beans, soup and even some non-edible items like laundry soap or dish soap.
"Parents are shopping for back-to-school items, the children have been home over the summer so there's more mouths to feed and it's been a warm summer, so a lot of the electric bills are up so you have to choose between electricity, food and there's just so much money to go around," Rocourt said.
February's JOMO Restaurant Week resulted in just under 6,000 pounds of donated food. Rocourt hopes to surpass that figure this year.
"Right now, we're really hurting," Rocourt said.
Restaurant Week runs through Sunday, August 28.
Donating $100 or 100 pounds of food can earn you a "Super Donor" card you can take to the 21 participating restaurants for a special incentive.
Big R's BBQ, 1220 E. 15th St.
Blackthorn Pizza & Pub, 510 S. Joplin Ave.
Bruncheonette, 424 N. Main St.
Carmines, 524 S. Joplin Ave.
Club 609, 609 S. Main st.
Crabby's, 815 W. 7th St.
Del Rio Bordertown, 1801 N. Range Line Rd.
Del Rio Cantina, 1802 W. 32nd St.
Eagle Drive In, 4224 Hearnes Blvd.
Granny Shaffers, 2728 N. Range Line Rd.
Hackett's Hot Wings, 520 S. Main St.
Han the Sushi Man, 1901 E. 32nd St.
Instant Karma, 527 S. Main
M&M Bistro, 407 S. Main
Me's Place, 1203 Broadway
MOJO Burger, 702 S. Maiden Ln.
Mythos, 1306 S. Range Line Rd.
Old Broadway club, 702 Broadway
Tropicana, 2402 S. Main St.
Turtleheads, 4218 S. Main St.
Wilder's, 1216 S. Main St.
KOAM - Licensed to Pittsburg, Kansas