Opportunities to give back during the holiday season are many. But since we still need to eat, some local food and drink businesses are thankfully getting into the holiday spirit by pitching in with their own charitable programs.

Lucy's El Adobe, the landmark eating and drinking spot across the street from Paramount Studios, isn't discussed much among hardcore Mexican food aficionados. But longevity counts for something, and Lucy Casado's institution is strongly tied to the city it's been a part of since 1964. The restaurant opens its doors this afternoon, Tuesday, Dec. 17, from 1 to 5 p.m., serving food and drinks to raise awareness of St. Vincent Meals on Wheels program and Lucy's fundraising campaign. Silent film actress Carla Laemmle, who at 104 is familiar first hand with this vital food delivery service, will appear as the guest of honor. To RSVP, call (213) 484-7327 or email binglacson@dochs.org.

December in L.A. means even frozen desserts are still part of the holiday mix. On Wednesday, Dec. 18 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., Coolhaus Old Town hosts Pasadena Magazine's holiday party and toy drive. In lieu of the soirée's $20 entrance fee, bring a toy valued at $20 or more. Coolhaus will dish out its architecturally-themed ice cream sandwiches, as well as hot chocolate and milkshakes during the event that benefits Pasadena Child Development Associates, an incredible facility that serves special needs children and their families. RSVP to rsvp@pasadenarose.com.

Dog Haus is partnering with Young and Healthy, a non-profit organization that provides quality healthcare to under- and uninsured Pasadena area youth, and its Santa's Sleigh toy drive campaign to collect toys for low-income area families. Through Friday, Dec. 20, bring a new, unwrapped toy to any of Dog Haus' three locations in and around Pasadena, and get a free side of tater tots.

The strip of Franklin Avenue by UCB is known for big crowds and late nights. Franklin & Company is changing that image a bit with its campaign to raise funds for its neighbor, Cheremoya Avenue Elementary School. For each $5 or $10 ornament purchased to bedazzle the upside-down tree mounted to the restaurant's ceiling, matching funds will be donated to the school.

Don't want to commit to a specific meal or place or time just yet? The Lazy Dog Restaurant & Bar chain will donate approximately 30 hot meals to the Foodbank of Southern California for every $25 gift card sold.

Want more Squid Ink? Follow us on Twitter or like us on Facebook.

LA Weekly