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Sept. 15, 2015

Silver Spring holds Restaurant Week

by Maniza Habib, Online Managing Blogs Editor & Online News Editor
From September eighth to thirteenth, Montgomery County Councilmember Tom Hucker hosted 36 restaurant owners in Silver Spring Restaurant Week, a weeklong event of promotions to highlight the growing diverse restaurant scene in Silver Spring and support food recovery efforts.

This past week, restaurants have offered two-course lunches for $12 and three-course lunches for $17. Dinner included a two-course meal for $17 dollars and three-course meal for $27. Andrea Nunez, legislative aide and scheduler at Hucker's office, helped organize the event. "It's a good deal. It's essentially a promotional week for people to come out and try different restaurants at lower costs," she said.
Restaurants in Downtown Silver Spring participated in Restaurant Week from September 8-13 Hannah Rapp
Restaurants in Downtown Silver Spring participated in Restaurant Week from September 8-13

Silver Spring Restaurant Week also paired up with Community Food Rescue
and Manna Food Center to support food recovery efforts. A press release from Montgomery Community Media states that, according to a Montgomery County Waste Composition Study, Montgomery County throws away 246,000 tons of food each year. Jackie DeCarlo, executive director of Manna Food Center, approached Hucker's team with an idea to use Silver Spring Restaurant Week as an advantage to encourage restaurants to donate any unused food in the kitchen. "It's a wonderful opportunity to capture and repurpose some of the extra food restaurants buy all the time and doesn't get sold and distribute it those who need," Hucker said.

Hucker has lived in the Silver Spring area for many years. He is currently representing Silver Spring in the county council and did the same as a delegate for the state house. The city has been participating in D.C.'s Restaurant Week, but Hucker believed that Silver Spring deserved a week of it's own. "It's a chance for us to celebrate the great range of fine dining establishments in Silver Spring," he said.
This sign displayed outside of A.G. Kitchen in Downtown Silver Spring shows the deals Restaurant Week offers Hannah Rapp
This sign displayed outside of A.G. Kitchen in Downtown Silver Spring shows the deals Restaurant Week offers

Restaurant week allows for students and teachers alike at Blair to get out and experience the downtown Silver Spring food scene. Algebra 1 and AP Calculus AB teacher Christina Martin appreciates the idea of restaurant week, and hopes to hear more about it next year. "I've heard of Baltimore Restaurant Week, and I love it. This is a great idea, especially tied into the idea of saving food from the restaurants and giving to the homeless," she said.

Thepress release states that during Silver Spring Restaurant Week, surplus food from the restaurants will be donated to community groups including Interfaith Works, Rainbow Community Development Center and Shepherd’s Table.

Hucker and his staff hope to make Restaurant Week an annual event. Eight years ago, Silver Spring hosted a Restaurant Week, but it was not successful. The price for dining was not as low and the range of restaurants was limited. However, Hucker agrees that this week has been successful "From the reports I'm getting from the restaurants, I hear that they are very happy to be part of this and for the attention and for new customers. I very much think we can do this next year," he said.



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