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Have you made a donation to help regional farmers hard hit by Hurricane Irene yet? No? Well luckily for you, Dine Out Irene is almost here.  Restaurants participating in the program will be donating a portion of their sales this Sunday (September 25th), to farmers impacted by the flooding.

Dine Out Irene to benefit regional farmers impacted by the hurricane. This Sunday.

That means you get to go out and have a great meal, and the people who make that meal for you will give a portion of your bill to the people who grow the food. Sounds almost too easy, no?

The list of participating restaurants has exploded over the past few weeks. Current Brooklyn participants include Al di la, Bark Hot Dogs, The Brooklyn Kitchen, Buttermilk Channel, Colonie, Do or Dine, Egg, Franny’s, ici, Jack the Horse, The Meat Hook, Mile End, Oaxaca, Palo Santo, Robicellis, Rose Water, and Rucola. (You can find the full list of participants here.) We’re sure you can find a few spots you’ve been meaning to try on that list. Make it happen.

The effort doesn’t stop there. If you prefer to do your eating and/or fundraising at home, GrowNYC, the organization that manages the city’s Greenmarket program, is encouraging us to Dine IN Irene the week following Dine OUT Irene.

From the press release:

“Following a meal out, GrowNYC is encouraging residents to shop at their neighborhood Greenmarket and then invite a group of friends to come over for a meal in. Dine In Irene will take place during the week of September 26-October 2, wherein dinner hosts and potluck organizers will open their doors encouraging their guests to pay for a plate of home cooked local food or simply bring a dish and a donation to a Dine In. All proceeds raised will be sent to Greenmarket’s Hurricane Relief Fund to directly assist the most impacted farmers.

“Document your dinner party and note the farms you sourced from to stock the table at the website Bloggers Without Borders: bloggerswoborders.org/dineinirene. Despite the rain, it is still harvest season in the Northeast, and those farms lucky enough to have fared better through the storm are braving washed out roads to bring their bounty to the city’s marketplace. Grapes, the first crop of new apples, the last of the tomatoes and sweet corn are all in stock, and the fall staples like cauliflower and acorn squash are just arriving. Good food and good will go a long way toward recovery.”

You know that dinner party you always say you’re going to have? Those friends you always say you’ll invite over? This is the time. Every opportunity to eat good food, keep good company, and fund a good cause is okay by us.

So…what time should we come over for dinner?

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