Hotels in one mountain town have raised more than just the bar for Southern hospitality.
The second annual hospitality industry led Sweet Dreams, Full Plates campaign raised an astonishing $42,500 in just one month to help end hunger in WNC.
“I’m very proud of our accomplishments this year and the difference this will make in our community, but my real pride comes from watching the people in the hotel industry and MANNA come together to help in their community,” said Robert Foster, of Biltmore Farms Hotels, who founded the campaign in 2017. “The passion and determination within this group is unmatchable.”
This year, 35 Asheville-area hotels participated in the campaign, raising over 40 percent more funds than last year.
Over the last two years, Sweet Dreams, Full Plates has raised just over $70,000, nearly 280,000 meals for WNC.
All funds are donated to MANNA Foodbank, a private, non-profit that links the food industry with over 200 partner agencies in 16 counties of WNC.
“This incredible campaign clearly demonstrates the heart and soul of the remarkable people that work in the Asheville area’s hospitality industry,” said Mary Nesbitt, MANNA FoodBank Chief Development Officer. “Because of their outstanding efforts this year, 148,750 meals will be provided to our most vulnerable neighbors across WNC. The funds raised will make an immediate and tangible difference in the lives of so many people.”
The concept for the campaign is simple, but the results are truly life-changing.
Hotel guests, during the month of September, are given the opportunity to forgo stayover services by simply hanging a door hanger on their room door. The door hanger says, “We Fed A Family,” and for every room that chooses to participate, the hotel makes a $2 donation on their behalf.
With each $2 donation, MANNA FoodBank is able to provide enough food for seven meals.
“The Sweet Dreams, Full Plates campaign is unique in that it is providing food to our most vulnerable neighbors, while educating and engaging the tourist community around the pervasive issue of hunger,” Nesbitt said. “This campaign not only dramatically impacts our local efforts to end hunger, but also sends a message home with our visitors about what they can do in their own communities.”
Boosting excitement, participating hotels compete internally for who can raise the most money during the month. This year, Crowne Plaza Resort Asheville took home the Golden Pineapple Award for most overall funds raised. Residence Inn Biltmore won for most revenue per available room and nabbed the Dream Team Award.
Participants hope to grow this campaign annually and also inspire hospitality-based charity efforts across the nation.
“I want to see Sweet Dreams, Full Plates grow throughout the State and hopefully one day throughout our country,” Foster said. “I think it is a matter of time before this very simple but effective campaign makes its way into other communities. It is great to think it all started here in our amazing city.”
The campaign coincides with National Action Hunger Month, a month where people all over America stand together with Feeding America and the nationwide network of food banks to fight hunger.
For more information on Sweet Dreams, Full Plates, visit sweetdreamsfullplates.org and follow the campaign on Facebook.
About MANNA FoodBank
MANNA FoodBank is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization serving Western North Carolina since 1983. As an accredited member of Feeding America, the nation’s largest domestic hunger relief organization, the mission of MANNA FoodBank is to involve, educate, and unite people in the work of ending hunger in Western North Carolina. MANNA serves over 200 community based non-profit food assistance partner agencies in 16 Western North Carolina counties and distributed 16.4 million pounds of food in 2016. For more information, visit MANNAFoodBank.org, or call 828-299-FOOD.
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- Best Western – Biltmore East
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- Doubletree by Hilton Asheville – Biltmore
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