Dining Out For Life: Have a meal, give a meal

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imageEat out Wednesday, and one of more than 150 participating restaurants donates 20 percent of your bill to Open Hand during Dining Out for Life, which helps Open Hand deliver more than 5,000 meals to people in need each day.

That bears repeating: 5,000 freshly prepared meals are packed and delivered each day to Georgians in their golden years or with HIV/AIDS, cancer and other chronic, critical or terminal diseases who are homebound. The organization also offers nutrition education, coaching and counseling to its clients across 17 Georgia counties.

The meal recipients and Open Hand volunteers “have some very compelling stories to tell,” John Penninger, director of marketing for Open Hand, says in a press statement. “As you can imagine, some of these stories will tug at your heartstrings, while others will downright inspire you.”

It’s the “people that make Open Hand so much more than a meal,” he adds.

The 22-year old program, also known as Project Open Hand, is long beloved by local gays. As is Dining Out For Life. We love to go out to eat, and we love it even more when that simple act of communion with friends and family benefits such a good cause.

Gay-owned and gay-popular restaurants participating this year include MetroFresh, No Mas! Cantina, Watershed, Einstein’s, Colonnade, Roxx, Joe’s, Roasters, Twist, Doc Chey’s and Las Margaritas, just to name a few. From extremely affordable Willy’s and Vortex, to high-end haunts like Floataway Café, Bacchanalia, Abattoir and Woodfire Grill, there’s a destination with your wallet in mind.

And like the long and winding list of some 150 participating restaurants in Dining Out for Life, not every Open Hand client gets the same meal. Staff and volunteers work with doctors to ensure medically appropriate meals go to individuals based on their circumstances and conditions.

Dining Out for Life 2010 co-chairs are (photo, left to right) chef and restaurateur Anne Quatrano, Kevin Maxey, Chef de Cuisine at Craft Atlanta, and Peter Kaiser, Corporate Chef for Here to Serve Restaurants and Executive Chef of Twist.

Dining Out For Life takes place at participating restaurants on Wednesday, April 21 benefiting Open Hand. Click the event or organization name for more information, or call 404-419-1104.

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