MANATEE -- When people think of food for the needy they often think of canned goods, turkeys, cheese and macaroni.
It's rare for people to think of infant formula.
But babies must eat, too, said Kristen Theisen, vice president of development at Renaissance on 9th, which administers Meals on Wheels PLUS and The Food Bank.
"Baby formula is something we are always low on and always need and it's not donated as much as other items," Theisen said.
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Theisen and her colleagues have come with a plan to get baby formula through an event called "Food Fight."
Twenty-three local restaurants have agreed to give 5 percent of Wednesday's breakfast, lunch and dinner proceeds to The Food Bank of Manatee to be used to purchase food, including baby formula, Theisen said.
"We usually get donations of food but donations of cash help us buy things that we don't often get but need," Theisen said.
September is also Hunger Action Month, a nationwide effort to bring awareness to the issue of hunger in communities, said Maribeth Phillips, chief executive officer of Meals on Wheels PLUS,
"By dining out at one of these food venues, the Food Bank will receive 5 percent of each check," Phillips said. "The needs are great for those who need help. Together we can fight hunger in our community."
Participating restaurants include:
Anna Maria Oyster Bar, 6966 Cortez Road W., Bradenton; 1525 51st Ave. E., Ellenton; and 6909 14th St. W., Bradenton.
Beef 'O' Brady's, 4286 53rd Ave. W., Bradenton; 1795 Lakewood Ranch Blvd., Bradenton; 8913 U.S. 301, Parrish; and 4925 Cortez Road W., Bradenton.
Cedar Reef Fish Camp, 7240 55th Ave. E., Bradenton.
Full Belly Stuffed Burgers, 8742 E. State Road 70.
Sugar Cubed Bakery, 1506 13th St. W., Bradenton.
Basils Flamed Broiled Chicken, 4015 First St., Bradenton.
Gio's Fabulous Pizza & Martini Bar, 2219 60th Ave. E., Ellenton; and 4805 Cortez Rd. W., Bradenton.
Peaches, 3201 Manatee Ave. W., Bradenton; 5702 Cortez Road. W., Bradenton; 6057 26th St. W., Bradenton; 7315 52nd Pl. E., Bradenton; 5240 State Rd. 64 E., Bradenton; 2207 60th Ave. E., Ellenton; and 3240 East Bay Dr., Holmes Beach.
Polo Grill & Bar 10670 Boardwalk Loop, Lakewood Ranch.
MacAllister's Grill & Tavern 8110 Lakewood Main St., Lakewood Ranch.
Mexicali Border Cafe, 5502 Cortez Road W., Bradenton will host Food Fight event Sept. 30.
Richard Dymond, Herald reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7072 or contact him via Twitter@Richard Dymond.