Restaurant Hope: Engineering a Choice-Based Service Initiative to Address Hunger

Salah Issa, Haroon Mohammad, Muhammed Sarfraz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The objective of this service-learning project was to humanize the face of hunger for volunteers by empowering patrons attending a soup kitchen with the choice of selecting their meal for dinner. This experience helped foster an emotional connection between patrons and volunteers. A traditional soup kitchen utilizes a single-option, inexpensive meal approach that is cooked and delivered by volunteers. However, this service project, entitled Restaurant Hope, addressed these issues by providing patrons with a diverse menu. In addition, patrons were given the opportunity to request more food (to try other options on the menu) and take home leftover food depending on availability. Choices patrons made in terms of menu preferences were tracked. Volunteers, soup kitchen administrators, and patrons were interviewed to obtain feedback on this service initiative and how it impacted their perceptions on the issue of hunger in their local community.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)17-22
JournalPurdue Journal of Service-Learning and International Engagement
Issue number1
StatePublished - Aug 26 2015
Externally publishedYes

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