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Share the love and feed hungry children

I swear, I started going simply for the chicken

& dumplings, the smothered chicken, the yams.

It was only after I'd sopped up Mama Dip's gravy for

years that I learned of all the wonderful things she was

doing through her eponymous Chapel Hill restaurant.

Who knew, for instance, that she was providing food, at no charge, for poor children who otherwise would have gone to school hungry?

(If you've ever tried to study and learn while hungry, you know that feat can be summed up in two words: Im Possible. See?)

I later heard about how she was providing jobs for people on work-release from prison. If you've ever tried to get a job after doing time, you know that feat can often be summed up in the same two words.

By providing jobs to offenders and ex-offenders while they were still under the supervision of the N.C. Department of Correction, though, Mama Dip was greasing the path for them and easing their transition back into the world.

Before long, I was making the pilgrimage to her Chapel Hill restaurant to interview her and several of the offenders and ex-offenders whom she'd helped get re-adjusted to life without bars. I'd also always grab some yams while I was there.

For her good works and good food, Mildred Council - that's Mama Dip to you - deserves all the praise bestowed upon her, even posthumously.

When I was recently asked to serve as master of ceremonies for the Mama Dip Share The Love fundraiser, I couldn't say "yes" fast enough.

Spring Council, Mrs. Council's daughter, said the Share the Love fund, through the Triangle Community Foundation, "has the flexibility to make grants" to causes important to her mother and her legacy.

One of those causes is TABLE NC, which provides food for Chapel Hill and Carrboro children who might not otherwise have anything to eat - especially once school is out.

Who, I ask, could have possibly said "No" when asked to M.C. such a wonderful event?

Not I.

If you were unable to attend the fundraiser in Carrboro, I feel sorry for you. The food was delicious and never-ending, and the way the Mac McLaughlin Group was groovin' on a Sunday afternoon, you could thought you were in a New York City bistro.

Spring Council said plans are to make the the dinner an annual event, but if you want to contribute to this delightful cause before 2020, contact

You can then click on "donate" and scroll down to where it says Mama Dip Share the Love.

You'll feel great - and some kid may have his only meal of the day.




Meet Barry Saunders

For over 20 years, Barry was a columnist for The News & Observer in Raleigh, NC. He also wrote for other publications, such as the Atlanta Constitution and the Richmond County Daily Journal. Often described as powerfully honest and illustratively funny, Barry's writing is both loved and hated by readers- sometimes simultaneously.  


Want more? Get your own copy of one of Barry's published books featuring reader favorites (and not so favorites) from his years writing columns for The News & Observer. Titled "Do Unto Others...And then Run" and "...And The Horse You Rode In On Saunders!", they're full of guaranteed entertainment. 


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