Since opening four years ago, 318 families, comprising of more than 1,000 men, women, and children have called The Maclellan Shelter for Families home. (Photo: Contributed)

On Wednesday, five local restaurants donated funds to help area homeless families as part of an inaugural benefit to support a local shelter. 

During the week of May 6-13, dubbed Family Dinner Week, restaurants donated a percentage from every meal to support the Maclellan Shelter for Families

The $8,792 donation allowed the Maclellan Shelter to house about 20 families during the campaign week while also supporting the future operations of the shelter.

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“It’s nice to live in a community where not only will the restaurants give back, but the people who are dining in them will still support the restaurants because they all want to help neighbors in need,” President and CEO of the Chattanooga Community Kitchen Jens Christensen said.

The shelter—which opened in 2014 to meet a need for families—is a program of the Chattanooga Community Kitchen. Both have the same president and operate under the same roof. The shelter aims to keep families together, which isn’t possible at some other facilities, which have gender restrictions, according to a news release. 

The participating restaurants—STIR, 2 Sons Kitchen and Market, Blue Orleans, Taqueria Jalisco and Vine Street Bakery—contributed a percentage of all food sales from the week because there was a food shortage for local families. 

“We’re in the restaurant business; we sell food, and the fact that some people do not have food available to them definitely hits us where it counts,” STIR General Manager Fletcher Thompson said.

The Maclellan Shelter for Families opened in 2014 and features 13 units with 64 beds.

To date, 318 families, comprising of more than 1,000 men, women, and children have called The Maclellan Shelter for Families home, according to a news release. 

There’s more information about Family Dinner Week and the Community Kitchen online.

Logan Garrett is a contributing writer. He currently attends UTC where he is the editor-in-chief of the student newspaper, The University Echo. He is a communication major with a psychology and Spanish double minor. Logan is also an associate editor for UReCA, an undergraduate research publication journal. You can reach him at [email protected] or on twitter @LoganGarrett__.

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