ASHEVILLE - Restaurants, breweries and nonprofits are teaming up to make a lasting impact in WNC.
Visit any of the nearly 50 local restaurants during a one-day dining-out extravaganza; raise a pint of craft beer for the health of community members regionwide; and snag a new limited-edition brew each month in support of people, pets and nature.
Dining Out for Life
On April 28, Western North Carolina AIDS Project and the Asheville Independent Restaurant Association are collaborating for the 20th annual Dining Out for Life fundraiser.
Diners are invited to visit any of the more than 45 restaurants for breakfast, lunch or dinner to support WNCAP, a nonprofit with a mission to “provide equitable access to care and reduce harm from HIV, Hepatitis C and drug use.”
WNCAP’s efforts are to keep “families healthy, housed and fed” year-round in the 18 communities across the region. It’s also a crucial time for those in marginalized communities who have faced a disproportionate impact from the COVID-19 pandemic, CEO Antonio Del Toro said.
The Dining Out for Life fundraiser is vital for the nonprofit, as it makes up for what grant funding cannot cover, he said.
“Most grants partially fund services and partially fund programs, but they don’t completely fund them,” Del Toro said. “Basically, Dining Out for Life is a lifeline that helps us fill those gaps in funding so that we can provide the best service we can.”
WNCAP’s many services include prevention resources and education, medical case management, housing assistance, emergency financial assistance to prevent homelessness and provide transportation for those to receive medical care. Also, the group has a food distribution of more than 100 families with homebound and disabled individuals.
Over two decades, Dining Out for Life has raised more than $1.5 million.
This year, Dining Out for Life is also acknowledging the hardships faced by local restaurants and service industry workers.
“The event relies so much on the restaurant community and the restaurant community is still bouncing back from the pandemic,” Del Toro said. “Right now, our priority is to drive traffic to the restaurant community that’s supported us so long and to help them be able to drive donors to us.”
Mosaic Community Lifestyle Realty and Anthony Guthmiller are offering incentives for the restaurant and servers.
The server who raises the highest dollar amount will win $1,500 and the runner-up will receive $1,000. The server with the highest number of donations will receive a $500 prize. And the restaurant with the most donors will be presented with the Dining Out Restaurant of the Year award.
Participating restaurants include Avenue M, Bouchon. Corner Kitchen, Gan Shan West, Gypsy Queen Cuisine, Nine Mile, Pack's Tavern, Sunny Point Cafe, The Hop, Wicked Weed and Zambra. For a full list, visit wncap.org/dofl.
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Donating to the cause has been designed to be easy. Restaurant guests can use a smartphone to scan the QR Code at their table or go directly to WNCAP’s website to complete the process. If unable to make it out to a restaurant, donations may be made anytime at wncap.org/dofl.
“We are a small nonprofit, so any bit of help counts,” he said.
Volunteer opportunities are open for food distribution services. For more information about how to lend a hand, email email@example.com.
Power in Pints
The WNC Bridge Foundation and Hillman Beer are partnering for the annual Power in Pints fundraiser.
On May 2, Hillman Beer will donate $1 of every draft beer sold in its taproom, at 25 Sweeten Creek Road, to WNC Bridge Foundation’s You’re Special Fund.
WNC Bridge Foundation supports and assists people facing health challenges services across 18 counties.
The You’re Special Fund is one of five initiatives of the organization and is designated for adults in need of assistance purchasing medications, medical equipment and other essential items not covered by health insurance and that the person cannot afford to pay out of pocket.
“There are many health care providers who are no longer accepting Medicaid to the extent they once were, and there are also many types of needed medical equipment and/or supplies that are not covered by insurance or Medicaid,” development officer Morgan Bradley said. “Many people who call Western North Carolina home rely on this coverage, and are unable to fit the bill in circumstances where insurance or Medicaid are not applicable - that's where WNC Bridge is able to step in and lend a helping hand.”
WNC Bridge Foundation works with health care providers, physicians, case managers and other medical professionals to source and allocate items directly to the person in need. In 2021, WNC Bridge Foundation assisted 671 individuals across the region, Bradley said.
“Every penny that’s brought in is going directly back into the community. We’re just trying to identify where that need is the most,” he said.
For more information, visit wncbridge.org.
Pints with Purpose
Highland Brewing has kicked off its Pints with Purpose series that benefits various local nonprofits and puts new brews in consumers’ hands.
In April, Highland Brewing released the Mountain Chaser Hazy Pale Ale, in collaboration with Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy.
New partnerships and beer releases will roll out each month through August.
On May 22, the Black Bear Kolsch will debut, in support of the WNC Nature Center.
On June 26, Community Harvest tart Fruit Ale will go on sale, benefiting MANNA FoodBank.
On July 30, Survivor Strong Hazy IPA will be released, in support of Helpmate.
On August 27, Hair of the Dog will debut, benefiting the Asheville Humane Society.
Jenny Fares, a local artist and owner of Sound Mind Creative, is the series’ official illustrator of the original crowler labels.
The nonprofits will receive a portion of the proceeds from all draft and crowler sales of their collaborative beer. Quantities are limited for the special edition brews and are expected to sell out, but patrons will have additional opportunities to donate to the organizations at the beer release events and online.
The Pints with Purpose beers will be available for purchase in Highland Brewing taprooms at 12 Old Charlotte Highway and in the S&W Market at 56 Patton Ave. in Asheville.
For more about the Pints with Purpose brews and nonprofits, visit highlandbrewing.com/community/.
Tiana Kennell is the food and dining reporter for the Asheville Citizen Times, part of the USA Today Network. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on Twitter/Instagram @PrincessOfPage. Please help support this type of journalism with a subscription to the Citizen Times.
This article originally appeared on Asheville Citizen Times: Special dining, brewery events support WNC nonprofits