Metro Weekly

Food & Friends to hold annual Dining Out for Life fundraiser on April 6

More than 70 D.C. area restaurants will donate a portion of their proceeds to Food & Friends' meal support programs

Photo: Food & Friends.

Food & Friends, the local organization that provides meal support programs and nutrition counseling to people suffering from life-challenging illnesses, has announced its annual Dining Out for Life event will take place on Thursday, April 6.

The concept behind the event is simple: D.C. area residents can patronize participating local restaurants or eateries, which in turn, will donate a portion of their proceeds to Food & Friends to help fund its ongoing work. Food & Friends can then use that money to provide food assistance to people struggling with HIV/AIDS, cancer, or other debilitating chronic conditions.

Now in its 29th year, the annual fundraiser relies heavily on the generosity of local eateries. This year, more than 70 area restaurants have pledged to contribute anywhere from 25 percent to 110 percent of lunch and dinner proceeds to Food & Friends, notes Craig Shniderman, Food & Friends’ executive director.

“We’ve got some great restaurants, and those who have been supporters of ours for many years are some of the most generous and most important,” says Shniderman. “It’s not just the number, it’s the particular restaurants who are participating that make it special.”

Last year, Dining Out for Life raised more than $150,000. Restaurants that are particularly involved with the event include Freddie’s Beach Bar & Restaurant, which regularly donates 110 percent of all its proceeds for the night, and Annie’s Paramount Steakhouse, which donates 100 percent of all proceeds.

Other notable contributors include Silver Spring’s All Set Restaurant and Bar, which annually donates 75 percent of proceeds and heavily advertises the event to its patrons beforehand, and Hank’s Restaurant Group, a chain of five restaurants, each of which is donating 25 percent of their proceeds. Also participating this year are five new restaurants at the bustling MGM National Harbor —  Fish by Jose Andres, Ginger, Marcus, TAP Sports Bar and Voltaggio Brothers Steak House — all of which have pledged 25 percent of their proceeds for the night.

“Dining Out for Life nicely melds self-interest with concern for others,” Shniderman says. “These are great restaurants, and the experience of going out to eat is something that most people would enjoy. But any other night of the year, the only beneficiary is the diner. By choosing to go out [on April 6], you’re doing good for someone else and helping a charitable cause. So we think it’s a win-win.”

Food & Friends’ annual Dining Out for Life fundraiser takes place on Thursday, April 6. For a list of participating restaurants, visit foodandfriends.org/diningout.

John Riley is the local news reporter for Metro Weekly. He can be reached at jriley@metroweekly.com