Dozens of restaurants in southwest Iowa are taking part in an event today where you can make a contribution to help feed the hungry — by eating out for lunch or dinner. Brian Barks, spokesman for the Omaha-based Food Bank for the Heartland, says this is the 8th annual “Dine Out Against Hunger” event and it’s easy to take part.

“Find a participating restaurant,” Barks says. “Go out to eat and then that restaurant will donate 10-percent of your bill to us here at the Food Bank.” Barks says this event has grown over the years and more restaurants in Omaha-Council Bluffs are taking part than ever before. He’s pleased with the response from the public, too.

Barks says, “Last year generated about 20-thousand dollars through this effort and we certainly hope we can reach that level this year as well.” He says 80 restaurants in the Omaha-Council Bluffs metro area are participating. Barks says diners do not have to fill out anything or request the donation.

“All they need to do is just go eat out,” Barks says. “They don’t need to say anything. Just go eat and enjoy and have a great meal at one of the area’s great restaurants.” The Food Bank for the Heartland is the largest food bank in Nebraska and Iowa, encompassing 93 counties in the two-state region. It distributes about seven-million pounds of food each year through more than 300 food pantries, emergency shelters, after-school programs, senior housing sites and rehabilitation centers.

Find a full list of restaurants for today’s event at: ““.