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Dear Friend,

Recently a food company donated a booth to The Vegetarian Resource Group so we could do outreach at the National Restaurant Association Annual Meeting in Chicago.

This show is attended by 100,000 food service professionals and was a great opportunity to educate restaurants and other institutions about vegetarian food. For example, the head of food service from a major insurance company stopped by the booth. He feeds 30,000 employees. He stated, "You are the most important booth here." He took recipes as well as nutrition information, and one of our dietitians sent follow-up advice after the conference.

Below is a report on this show from Jim Dunn, our volunteer who helped coordinate the booth.

"Hi Charles,

You asked me to get a feel for whether or not we would want to have a booth next year. My answer is unequivocal. Yes. I think the NRA show should be on our A list. Solidly on our A list. These are the people who serve the food, and they have great influence over what a lot of people eat. This is a very important show.

151 people took advantage of the free one year subscription to Vegetarian Journal's Foodservice Update. The requests range from small restaurants to large corporations. I think it was an excellent idea to offer this. These folks have leverage.

Several people who came by our booth expressed much gratitude for our presence. The interest was both corporate and personal. A specific group who said they had a great need to understand vegetarian and vegan options was college food service people. One guy from Loyola said that close to 40% of the students there request vegetarian options. I know that sounds high, but that's what he said.

Four days plus setup is a long show. Didn't get out of there until 5 PM yesterday though we were out of Journals, Nutshells, and several other handouts before the end of the morning. Stephanie (one of our volunteers) took the leftover books to give to libraries.

Anyway, I do think we should go back next year even though it will cost the group about $6,000 (cost of booth, handouts, shipping, etc.). You may feel I've lost touch with reality (especially fiscal reality). But I would like to make a big pitch for an all out effort for the 2001 NRA show, including buying a backdrop. Pretty drastic turnaround for someone who was somewhat reluctant about even going to this year's show, huh. But I've done enough tabling to know leverage opportunities when I see them, and I'm not too proud to do an about face when it makes sense.
-Cheers, Jim"

Jim has volunteered to be at the National Restaurant Association conference again. He is investigating the cost of a professional backdrop, which he can also use at other outreach efforts in the Chicago area. He would love to purchase this easily transported modular display. Please support Jim and our other volunteers in this effort.

Due to the help of yourself and other members, VRG has great opportunities for bringing vegetarianism to new audiences. For example, recently:

News does travel fast sometimes. With over 80,000 people a month visiting our website and over 8,500 individuals receiving our e-mail newsletter, Davida Breier is kept quite busy with our internet projects, one of which was a parents' e-mail list. While still in the testing stage, "A mole leaked information about our list and there was a mention of it in The New York Times on July 25th, 2000! This accelerated our announcement of the group.

With your assistance, we can continue all this outreach by Jim, Davida, and others. I hope Jim can count on you to support his efforts to have a booth next year at the Annual Meeting of the National Restaurant Association.

Sincerely,

Charles Stahler
The Vegetarian Resource Group


_____ Enclosed is a $25 donation towards VRG outreach.

_____ Enclosed is $100 towards web outreach (Currently over 80,000 people per month visit www.vrg.org)

_____ Enclosed is $500 for __ life membership __ donation.

_____ Enclosed is $2,400 to pay for booth space at The National Restaurant Association Show. ___ $1,000 for other show expenses.

_____ Enclosed is $5,000. Please list me in Circle of Compassion.

_____ I am naming The Vegetarian Resource Group in my will or life insurance policies.

_____ Please do not give my name to other organizations.

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VRG Home | About VRG | Vegetarian Journal | Books | Vegetarian Nutrition
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Last Updated
November 30, 2000

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