Restaurants changing dining bills to profits for Desert Aids Project

Restaurants are turning Thursday's sa...

PALM SPRINGS, Calif. - Whether it's a cup of coffee or grabbing lunch, some restaurants throughout the Coachella Valley are making each meal count when it comes to giving back to an HIV/AIDS organization.

"They take care of thousands of people a month whether its meals or medical services or housing. It's something that's not going away and we have to keep supporting it," Michael Shimer of Lulu's California Bistro, said.

More than 70 restaurants are sharing profits with the Desert Aids Project Thursday for an international campaign called Dining Out for Life.

"It's a chance for everybody to come together as one national community to fight HIV/AIDS and make sure that we see an end to this epidemic," CEO of Desert Aids Project David Brinkman said.

The campaign promotes customers to eat what they like, while restaurants donate a portion or all proceeds of sales that day. One coffee shop owner in Palm Springs said he has been donating to D.A.P. since it opened three years ago. The owner said this year he plans to do the same.

"I feel great and our contributions are unrestricted which means Desert Aids Project can really use them for whatever they feel is necessary," John Monahan said.

D.A.P. officials said restaurants raised more than $200,000 last year.

"We can continue to bring more people into care and provide the comprehensive services that we provide here; health care, dental care, mental health care, and all the support services," Brinkman said.

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