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Charleston restaurants provide food for Ronald McDonald House families during renovations

By Andy Parasaparas@sbgtv.com{}

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- More than two dozen restaurants have volunteered to provide food for families at the Ronald McDonald House of Charleston for a month while the kitchen is closed for renovations.

The Ronald McDonald House, which provides a temporary home for families of children who are seriously ill, is adding five bedrooms and bathrooms and renovating the kitchen at the existing 27-room building, according to spokeswoman Rachel Hubbard.{}

When Anthony DiBernardo, the owner of Swig & Swine, heard the renovations would shut down the facility's kitchen and that they would need enough food from a DHEC-approved kitchen to feed 50 people each night for a month, he volunteered to help.{}

DiBernardo, who is also the president of the Greater Charleston Restaurant Association, sent an email out to all of the association's members.{}

"Once our members heard about the need they jumped right in," DiBernardo said. "I thought it was going to be a lot harder. I thought it was going to be like pulling teeth but it filled right up."

The response was so great DiBernardo said they only had a few spots left. Those were quickly filled up when he announced the news on Facebook.

"I was overwhelmed by how quickly they responded to A) our email and B) our Facebook post," he said. "The response I got in general was overwhelming. It's a great community."

Hubbard said the Ronald McDonald House opened 32 years ago with 12 bedrooms. Last year they served 798 families who traveled to Charleston for their child's treatment. "We are full every single night and on average were turning away eight families."

Having 32 rooms will mean turning away fewer families, she said.{}

And with the help of the restaurant association, which also contributes to the Ronald McDonald House through Taste of Charleston and the Oyster Festival at Boone Hall, the families will be well-fed.

"They really have stepped up and without their help we wouldn't be able to give our families their dinner every night."

Anyone who wants to contribute to the Ronald McDonald House may do so at http://www.rmhcharleston.org/.

Here is the list of restaurants that have volunteered to help.

Five Loaves/Sesame

St. James Gate Irish Pub

My Father's Moustache

82 Queen/Lowcountry Bistro/Swig & Swine

P.F. Chang's China Bistro

The Gin Joint

Fleet Landing

Edmund's Oast

SOL Southwest Kitchen & Tequila Bar

Red Drum

Rio Bertolini's Pasta

Crave Kitchen & Cocktails

Tsunami

Art Institute of Charleston

Katsu

Kickin' Chicken

Graze

Southerly Restaurant & Patio

The Islander

Triangle Char and Bar

Fish

Taziki's Mediterranean Cafe

DeSano Pizza Bakery

Virginia's on King

Red's Icehouse/Tavern & Table

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