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A meal out Thursday can raise funds for AIDS/HIV services

PHOTO: HB Home Bistro is one of the Chicago area restaurants participating in Dining Out for Life.  |  TOM CRUZE~SUN-TIMES MEDIA

Enjoy a meal out on Thursday (April 30) and help a great cause.

Thursday is the ninth annual Dining Out for Life. At participating restaurants, a portion of the day’s will proceeds go toward helping fight AIDS/HIV.

Think your one little meal can’t amount to much? Ah, but it can. Dining Out for Life, which began in Philadelphia, now includes some 3,000 restaurants in close to 60 cities or regions, including Chicago. Last year the day of dining raised some $4 million. (A similar amount is anticipated to be raised on Thursday.)

Those funds were channeled to AIDS Service Organizations, who in turn helped some 350,00 clients, delivered more than 1.8 million meals and provided housing for some 8,000 who needed it. Also, 5,572 person were able to receive health insurance, another 5,491 got help with pharmacy costs and almost 2,000 were able to get dental care.

All that from people stepping away from the stove and eating a meal out.

Some 40 Chicago area restaurants will be participating. Here’s the list, which also shows that all of them are donating no less than a hefty 33 percent of proceeds while still others are donating 50 percent of that day’s proceeds. Some are donating from specific meals that day, while others will include any meal eaten there on Thursday.

So grab a family member or friend — or a bunch of them — and go out and eat on Thursday!