Dining out for Life takes place this Thursday (March 14).
It’s a big year for the event that supports A Loving Spoonful: not only is DOFL the biggest restaurant fundraiser in B.C.; it’s also reaching a milestone, marking 25 years.
Participating restaurants from throughout the Lower Mainland and Whistler (see below for the full list) will donate 25 percent of their food sales from breakfast, lunch, or dinner in support of individuals and families affected by HIV/AIDS and co-existing illnesses.
Despite tremendous advancements in HIV/AIDS care and treatment -- with Vancouver playing a leading role in breakthroughs -- HIV transmission rates are up in Canada.
According to the 2017 HIV in Canada – Surveillance Report, more than 63,000 people across the country live with HIV.
A total of 2,402 new HIV diagnoses were reported in Canada in 2017, an increase of 3 percent from 2016 and 17.1 percent from 2014.
Locally, health professionals refer more than 30 people per month to A Loving Spoonful, which provides nutritional and emotional support services to those living with HIV/AIDS and their families. Adults aged 60 and above have become the charity’s fastest growing demographic.
Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside has the highest rate of HIV in the Western world, reaching as high 27 percent.
Since it launched in 1994, DOFL has raised more than $3.75 million, with all proceeds directly benefiting the programs and services provided free of charge by the registered not-for-profit.
The organization has delivered an average of 100,000 meals and snacks per year to individuals and families affected by HIV/AIDS in Metro Vancouver and beyond. It also acts as the main point of contact for services for people who often face co-existing conditions such as cancer, heart disease, mental illness, and hepatitis C.
A Loving Spoonful runs other initiatives, including Easter Sundays, where chefs donate their time to cook for a group of 50 to 60 people, and the Family Pantry Program, where families receive fruits, vegetables, and other staples.
For every $3.55 raised during Dining out for Life, a healthy meal will be provided to someone in need.
This year’s DOFL restaurants are:
Cactus Club (English Bay and Yaletown)
For more info, visit Dining Out for Life.