TODAY | November 24, 2011
>>> back now at 8:39 with on this day of giving thanks, we're highlighting an organization in minneapolis that gives back through food. here is "today's" contributing corresponde correspondent, jenna bush hager .
>> butternut squash, apple pie , roasted vegetables. dishes to celebrate the season. but this table full of food celebrates something more. the spirit of giving. and the meal is as much about community and generosity as it is about food.
>> our mission is to raise money and awareness for different organizations that raise information about inequity.
>> reporter: benefit dinners with a cause.
>> the first eat for equity was for 12 of my friends in my house. and at that time, i said if you like this, bring your friend next time.
>> reporter: today, monthly dinners serve up to 150 people.
>> it's really grown, because it's tapped into this need we all feel to give and to contribute.
>> reporter: she's neither a professional chef nor a party planner .
>> we try to have fun. and we try to use local, organic whenever possible. and make everything from scratch.
>> everything from scratch for 150 people.
>> we make everything from scratch for 150 people.
>> reporter: now a graduate student in minneapolis this is how emily gives back. she asks for donations between $10 and $20 which is donated to a particular organization of the group's choosing eat for equity has raised close to $50,000, proving small tepz can make a big different.
>> i don't have a lot of money. i can't afford a $100 black tie dinner. but i can give my time and energy to worthy causes.
>> reporter: most everything is donated. and volunteers donate time.
>> people are longing and are starved to engage in a way where they are contributing something. and that's why eat for equity matters to so many people. they show up and they give and it feeds them in so many ways.
>> reporter: this meal supports sisters camelot, an organization that skribts meals in needy community.
>> we cook a full organic meal out of this bus and feed it to anybody that wants to.
>> reporter: you park this bus and feed anybody who wants it for free?
>> yep. for free.
>> it gets really sweet when you bake it.
>> reporter: i shouldn't eat it right here, right? this is a bus where team of volunteers prepare a feast for 230 people, their largest group yet.
>> we'll put it in hot water so the pesto deep frosts.
>> hard work.
>> reporter: after an hour or so i finally get the hang of it. i'm really sorry. i really should just skip to the scooping. emily hopes the idea behind eat for equity spreads to other states.
>> a really simple idea. the uniqueness in the approach is come as you are, give what you can.
>> reporter: yeah. cooking with care and for a cause, confirming what emily believes hearsay most in this season of giving. for today, jenna bush hager , nbc news, minneapolis .