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Dining Out for Life 2021

Support AIDS Foundation Houston by dining at some of your favorite restaurants.

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Lots of Houstonians have returned to dining out in our local restaurants this summer. If you are one of them, why not do it to support a good cause?

For one week—July 24 through July 31—16 Houston-area restaurants are donating a portion of their proceeds to AIDS Foundation Houston, Inc. (AFH) by participating in the annual Dining Out for Life fundraiser.

“We know how much our local restaurants were impacted by COVID-19, so we are especially grateful that they are partnering with us this year in support of our mission to end the HIV epidemic,” says AFH’s CEO, John Huckaby. “Dining Out for Life is an opportunity to support your local participating restaurants while sustaining the programs and services that AFH provides in our community.”

Now in its 30th year, the national Dining Out for Life campaign was started by an ActionsAIDS volunteer in Philadelphia. About 60 cities and some 3,000 restaurants throughout the United States and Canada are currently participating.

When you enjoy a breakfast, lunch, or dinner at any of the eateries listed below, a portion of the meal’s cost will support AFH’s services that help thousands of Houstonians affected by HIV—including PrEP services that help prevent new HIV transmissions. 

AFH was founded in 1982 as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation, and was the first AIDS service organization in Texas. They remain a national leader in HIV/AIDS programming aimed at creating a community where HIV is stigma-free and rare, and people have equitable access to care. Services include prevention education, HIV/STI testing, outreach in Texas prisons, PrEP care, supportive housing, food assistance, a summer camp for children, and supportive services for persons affected by HIV/AIDS.

Houstonians who still feel unsafe going out to eat can donate directly to this popular annual fundraiser at diningoutforlife.funraise.org. 

The 2021 participating restaurants in Dining Out for Life Houston include: 

  • 13 Celsius
  • EQ Heights
  • EL Tiempo Cantina (all locations)
  • Barnaby’s Café:
            Original (Fairview)
            Baby Barnaby’s (Fairview)
            Midtown (West Gray)
            Heights (White Oak)
            River Oaks (Shepherd)
            Memorial (Woodway)
            Museum District (Binz)
            Downtown (Congress)
  • Common Bond Bistro & Bakery, Montrose
  • FM Kitchen & Bar, Shepherd & Montrose
  • Harold’s Restaurant, Bar & Terrace
  • Laurenzo’s Restaurant
  • Pizzitola’s Bar-B-Cue
  • Bollo Woodfired Pizza

The hospitality industry was one of the hardest hit by COVID-19, and some restaurants fared better than others.

“We were blessed to be OK during the pandemic,” says Ray Salti, owner of Bollo Woodfired Pizza on West Alabama. Bollo actually wound up adding a second wood-burning pizza oven earlier this year. “But it’s always good to help out others. During the pandemic, a lot of nonprofits were hurting for donations.” His restaurant raised $6,000 for Southern Smoke Foundation, a nonprofit started by chef Chris Shepherd to assist workers in the food and beverage industry during hard times. Salti donates to several local nonprofits, and this is his tenth year to partner with Dining Out for Life.

“Anything that helps the community,” he says, “helps us.”

What: Dining Out for Life, benefiting AIDS Foundation Houston, Inc.
When: July 24 through 31
Info: aidshelp.org

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Marene Gustin

Marene Gustin has written about Texas culture, food, fashion, the arts, and Lone Star politics and crime for television, magazines, the web and newspapers nationwide, and worked in Houston politics for six years. Her freelance work has appeared in the Austin Chronicle, Austin-American Statesman, Houston Chronicle, Houston Press, Texas Monthly, Dance International, Dance Magazine, the Advocate, Prime Living, InTown magazine, OutSmart magazine and web sites CultureMap Houston and Austin, Eater Houston and Gayot.com, among others.
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