By Cherri Gregg

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – St. Christopher’s Foundation for Children is encouraging Philadelphians to dine in one night to help families who are struggling with hunger.

“Dine In, Help Out” is an effort to get families and friends to dine in together one night in May.  The goal is for one person to host the “dine=in” and get the visitors to donate the money they would have spent at a restaurant to the foundation’s Farm-to-Families Program, which provides North Philadelphia neighborhoods with access to fresh produce.

“They throw a dinner or they schedule a lunch or they throw a party, says foundation executive director Jan Shaeffer,  “and they invite their friends, and they talk about the issues, but really they just enjoy each other’s company.”

Shaeffer says the issue is food “deserts” or “swamps,” which are low-income areas with limited access to healthy foods but where cheap, sugary, high-carb food is abundant.

“Unhealthy choices surrounding you everywhere, and it’s high in sugar, high in salt, and it tastes really, really good,” Shaeffer notes.  “But it’s what’s creating a lifetime of health consequences, especially for young children.”

The Dine In, Help Out program runs May through September.  For more info, go to

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