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'Binghamton Restaurant Week' improves as a charity fundraiser

Mayor Rich David (right) announces results of the spring Binghamton Restaurant Week.
Mayor Rich David (right) announces results of the spring Binghamton Restaurant Week.

The spring edition of "Binghamton Restaurant Week" didn't quite match the number of meals served in last fall's event, but that wasn't the major news released Thursday by Mayor Rich David and the event's organizers. The fact that it raised more than $10,000 for two local nonprofits was the key element.

Local diners ordered 21,000 meals for the event that ended April 10, compared to 22,000 served last fall, but netted higher proceeds, which will go to support of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Binghamton and Volunteers Improving Neighborhood Environments (VINES). The latter organization operates seven community gardens, the Binghamton Urban Farm and a community orchard on the city's North Side. The fall event raised $8,534 to the Community Hunger Outreach Warehouse.

“There couldn’t be a better way to support a local organization that grows food in the City of Binghamton than by supporting local restaurants and enjoying all they have to offer,” Binghamton Urban Farm manager Sean Cummings said in a prepared statement.

The spring and fall restaurant 10-day "weeks" began locally in 2010 as a downtown event, but have grown to include restaurants in the city's South Side and West Side neighborhoods. This year's fall edition will run from September 16 through 25. As in the just-completed event, participating restaurants will offer a three-course lunch for $12 or less, and/or a three-course dinner for $25.