HAMPTON ROADS, Va. - The Starving Artist Cafe in Norfolk is prepping their tasty plates this week with a heaping side of raising awareness.
"We have participated in Dining Out for Life for the past three to four years," said owner Kim Keene.
Keene's restaurant is one of dozens participating in Dining Out For Life in Hampton Roads on Thursday.
"This is something we need to raise community awareness for because it's 100% preventable," said LGBT Life Center CEO Stacie Walls.
For 18 years, Dining Out For Life has raised funds to help those in the Hampton Roads community living with HIV.
"HIV is something that impacts our community heavily. We have the largest rate of HIV infection in the state in this community," Walls said.
Walls says they are serving up something a bit different this year with partnering restaurants.
"It didn't seem right to ask the restaurants to give money back to us after the year they have had," Walls said. "Over 18 years of doing this event, our local restaurants have donated over $1 million to the LGBT Life Center."
Instead of restaurants donating 25% of their profits to the center like in the past, they can keep those funds, which are much needed after a roller-coaster year.
Patrons this year can donate online instead and enjoy a good meal for a good cause.
"It means a lot that people are looking out for us. We will push all our patrons to give back," Keene said.
For a list of participating restaurants, click here.