Sonoma County foodies have a chance to dine out for a cause this week as part of the ninth annual Dining Out for Life fundraiser on Thursday, Dec. 2. Over 60 local restaurants will be donating 25 to 50 percent of every meal tab to Food for Thought, the grassroots Sonoma County food bank. Last year's Dining Out for Life raised over $90,000 to continue Food for Thought's mission of providing meals to Sonoma County men, women and children living with HIV/AIDS.
A report by the Sonoma County Department of Health Services estimates that between 1,900 and 2,200 individuals live with HIV in Sonoma County, and ranks the county as having the seventh highest population of persons living with AIDS in California for 2008. Donations to Food for Thought help the organization provide free weekly grocery bags filled with canned and boxed food, fresh produce, nutritional supplements and vitamins to more than 645 people.
A smattering of restaurants are donating 25 percent to the cause, including but certainly not limited to the Farmhouse Inn in Forestville; Underwood and Willow Wood in Graton; Barndiva and Ravenous in Healdsburg; Howard Station Cafe in Occidental; Bistro 29, Mac's, Mombo's, Santi, Stark's and Willi's in Santa Rosa; Hopmonk in S ebastopol; Rocker Oysterfeller's in Valley Ford and many others.
Some restaurants have opted to donate a whopping 50 percent; those include Sunshine Roasters, Dawn Ranch Lodge Roadhouse Restaurant, K&L Bistro, Sunshine Roasters at Andy's Produce in Santa Rosa, Bistro M and Restaurant Mirepoix.
Food drives are also taking place to benefit Food for Thought from Nov. 29 to Dec. 4 at Food for Humans (16385 First St., Guerneville) and from Nov. 30 to Dec. 4 at Kaiser Permanente (401 Bicentennial Way, Santa Rosa). A complete list of participating Dining Out for Life restaurants is available at www.diningoutforlife.com.