The motto of the 30-year-old Atlanta nonprofit Open Hand, which delivers more than 5.500 meals each day to homebound individuals, including senior citizens, the chronically ill and those with special dietary needs, is, “We cook. We deliver. We teach. We care.”
The organization has again partnered with dozens of restaurants throughout metro Atlanta for its 27th annual Dining Out for Life event April 24. As part of this event, participating restaurants will donate 25 percent or more of their sales that day to support Open Hand. The participating eateries include several in DeKalb County, Brookhaven, Buckhead, Roswell and Sandy Springs, such as The General Muir, Valenza, Portofino, Osteria Mattone and Bogartz Food Artz, respectively.
As of March 29, 73 restaurants had signed on to participate and, according to Open Hand spokeswoman Stacy Weenick, the organization expects to reach its goal of having 80 participating restaurants and raising more than $250,000 for this year’s program.
“In the 26 years we have been sponsoring this event, we have raised more than $4 million, so we want people to dine out on April 24 at one of the participating restaurants and spend lots of money,” she said.
Millie Wu, the organization’s development and community event coordinator, has been with the organization for a year. She said this event is one of the largest citywide fundraisers for Open Hand each year.
“This event helps fund our nutrition programs for those who are sick, have life-threatening illness and are under strict nutrition guidelines that must be followed. With the meals we provide, we make sure those nutrition needs are met,” Wu said.
Weenick said all the meals are packed by thousands of volunteers and then delivered to each person by another volunteer group.
The planning for each Dining Out for Life event is a year-round effort. Not only does the organization maintain the current addresses or locations of those scheduled to receive the packaged food, but it is constantly maintaining relationships with the restaurants already taking part as well as recruiting new eateries as partners for this event.
In addition to information at each restaurant explaining the Dining Out for Life program, each has an Open Hand volunteer on site to explain it to those who may desire more information or give an additional donation.
For more information, including a list of participating restaurants, visit www.diningoutforoh.org.