Those looking to eat good food and support a good cause can mark their calendars for Tuesday, October 12, 2021 for this year’s Dining Out for Life event. Over 50 local restaurants will be participating, directing a generous percentage of their sales to help fight HIV and support healthcare services for those living with chronic illness. Supporting the event is as simple as making a reservation for breakfast, lunch, or dinner at any one of the participating restaurants.
The event originated in Philadelphia over three decades ago in response to the AIDS crisis, and has since expanded to cities across the country and Canada, raising $4.5 million for those living with HIV/AIDS. Each city maintains the funds raised therein, directing them to a local HIV service organization. There are over 50 service organizations that benefit from the event each year, and over 2,400 restaurants and 4,100 volunteers that participate.
Here in Western New York, the funds raised at Dining Out for Life go to support Evergreen Health, a healthcare organization with locations in Buffalo and Jamestown that provides medical, behavioral and supportive services to individuals and families in WNY, especially those who are living with chronic illness or are underserved by the healthcare system. Evergreen Health specializes in HIV and hepatitis C testing, treatment and care, as well as drug user services, and has been working to fight HIV since 1983.
“All funds donated from restaurants and donations received from patrons go to Evergreen Health’s HIV services, providing care and support for people in our community,” said Claire Buscemi, Marketing Project Manager at Evergreen Health. “This event is important in that it reduces stigma and raises money for HIV services, including testing, care and treatment.”
The list of restaurants who are participating in this year’s event can be found at https://www.diningoutforlife.com/city/wny/. The listings show what type of meals are available (bar, breakfast, lunch or dinner), where the restaurants are located, type of cuisine, and what percentage of their proceeds are being donated.
The partnership between the local restaurant community and Evergreen Health has grown over the years through this event. Last year, when COVID-19 dealt a heavy blow to the restaurant industry and its workers, Evergreen Health stepped up to show them the same support they had been given.
“COVID-19 severely impacted the restaurant industry, so last year we decided to give back to the generous businesses that have supported us over the years,” Buscemi said. “We asked for no contributions to HIV services and directed our marketing goals to driving traffic to these restaurants, encouraging patrons to get take-out.”
Those who are Dining Out for Life are encouraged to invite their friends, family, and coworkers to join them, and to spread the word via social media. Those who donate to Evergreen Health’s HIV supportive services will be entered to win prizes, including two round-trip tickets on JetBlue.
To learn more about Dining Out for Life in Western New York and to choose your dining out destination for October 12, visit https://www.diningoutforlife.com/city/wny/