Community Dining Tradition Continues and Benefits Food Bank for Larimer County
From March 1 to March 14, Downtown Fort Collins’ award-winning dining promotion and fundraiser returns for a 17th year. Great Plates is a celebration of the Downtown dining community and features 45 participating restaurants serving up breakfast, lunch, dinner, and all-day menu specials for $25.00, and a la carte items for just $2.50*. Menu specials are available now! Visit GreatPlatesOfDowntown.com to view this year’s guide for details on restaurant limited-time offerings. As well, many retailers are staying open late and inviting diners to shop while they wait; visit DowntownFortCollins.com for more information.
Additionally, 100% of donation proceeds collected during this community culinary celebration will continue to benefit the Food Bank for Larimer County. The promotion has become the Food Bank for Larimer County’s largest external fundraiser with over $104,608 raised in 2021.
“We couldn’t accomplish our mission without the support of our community, and we are truly grateful for everyone who participates in this amazing partnership! Seeing so many Downtown Fort Collins restaurants participating in Great Plates, not only fills us with immeasurable gratitude but also reminds us that through broad collaboration like this, our vision of a hunger-free Larimer County can one day become a reality,” said Food Bank for Larimer County CEO, Amy Pezzani.
Joanne has been visiting the Food Bank since 2019. “My experience at the Food Bank has been great. The food we get here helps my family so much, especially over the last year and a half,” she says. She likes being able to select the food she receives, which helps her feed herself, her husband, and her four grandkids. “I also love receiving the recipes that they give out. I can go home and make a whole meal out of what they provide!”
Did you know? For every $1 donated, the Food Bank can provide two meals. This means even small donations, collectively, can have a big impact on families in our own community who are facing hunger.
Lisa Paugh, the owner of Walrus Ice Cream, said “We love participating in Great Plates. Our team gets very excited to support the Food Bank for Larimer County; some of them have experienced the need and have received help from the Food Bank in the past, and those that have, then shared their experiences with the rest of the team. We love supporting the community we live in and the one that supports us.”
The Fort Collins Downtown Development Authority (DDA) would like to extend a sincere thank you to the participating eateries and their hardworking staff. This promotion was started and continues to be championed, by the Downtown restaurant community who intentionally chose to move forward with the annual tradition, despite the many challenges the hospitality industry faced over the past two years. As well, thanks in advance to the community for their generous fundraising support during Great Plates.
*Note that Food Bank donations, tax, and server tips are not included in the $25.00 or $2.50 pricing. Patrons should consider leaving a donation to the Food Bank for Larimer County using the Great Plates envelope provided by a server, via the special Great Plates donation line on their credit card receipt (credit card lines vary per location), or the official PayPal link/QR code.
How Does Great Plates Work?
- Eat: Check out the Great Plates Restaurant Guide to view the $25.00 and $2.50* specials available exclusively from March 1 – 14 and decide where to eat.
- Enjoy: Tell your server you’d like to participate in Great Plates and order the featured special.
- Donate: After enjoying a meal, consider leaving a donation for the Food Bank*. Don’t forget to tip your hardworking server as well!Created in 1981, the Downtown Development Authority uses tax increment financing to stimulate redevelopment in the central business district and focuses on projects that have benefits for the entire community. In 2020, the DDA developed a Business Marketing Communications Program; this program continues and evolves traditional promotions that add vibrancy and vitality to the Downtown district.