Twenty-seven years since its first charitable fund drive, Dining Out for Life, Philly’s largest foodie fundraiser, returns April 19 to raise cash for the worthiest of causes: feeding and supporting local residents struggling with HIV and AIDS.
And joining the nearly 200 restaurant partners in the Delaware Valley is Philly’s retinue of portable feasts for its 6th Annual Food Truck Pop Up on Saturday April 14.
“We’re hopeful that the Saturday Pop Up will attract a large audience,” said Kevin J. Burns, executive director of Action Wellness. The 14 trucks that will park along the closed-to-traffic 1300 block of Locust Street, joining John & Kira’s and Weckerly’s Ice Cream (selling a specialty sandwich made exclusively for Action Wellness).
Founded in 1991 by Philadelphia’s ActionAIDS organization (now Action Wellness), Dining Out for Life has inspired similar eating events nationwide and beyond. Now in more than 60 cities across the United States and Canada, Dining Out for Life profits directly benefit the quality of care of its HIV and AIDS patients, Burns said.
“The money raised through Dining Out for Life allows Action Wellness to assist our clients to have access to high-quality HIV care,” Burns said in a statement. A total of 33 percent of each customer’s bill will be donated by local participating restaurants, Burns added. “Without our help and this care, our clients would not survive.”
An estimated 30,000 people live with HIV in the greater Philadelphia region, according to the Philadelphia Department of Health. Philadelphians are being infected at a rate five times the national average, and roughly 20 percent of local residents infected with HIV are unaware of their condition, according to AIDS Fund Philly. Initiatives such as Dining Out for Life bridge a gap. Dining Out proceeds allow Action Wellness to provide free HIV and STD screenings, perinatal and family services, housing services, educational and vocational assistance, and such.
The 6th Annual Food Truck Pop Up holds court on the 1300 block of Locust Street from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. There will be music, entertainment and diverse vendor options. This event is rain or shine. For more information, and to find a complete list of participating restaurants, go to www.diningoutforlife.com/Philadelphia.