Skip to contents
Opinion Columns

Opinion: During the pandemic, support for metro Denver’s Dining Out for Life is more important than ever

For 27 years, Project Angel Heart has hosted this annual event, which raises funds to continue preparing and delivering medically-tailored meals while supporting local restaurants.

Photo by Jay Wennington via Unsplash

Food brings us together during times of trouble and in times of joy. Milestones and life’s special moments are celebrated with food, providing comfort, inspiring creativity, and serving as an important element of social gatherings.

Our Denver metro-area restaurants are an integral part of our experience with food and our community as a whole. They have proved to be resilient, finding creative ways to adjust operations and respond to the changes amid the pandemic, such as implementing new safety measures and offering take-out and delivery options. 

Raju Patel and Owen Ryan

Whether it’s used to create a business, nourish ourselves or support one another, there is no doubt food is a key part of our daily lives.

Project Angel Heart recognizes the power food can have in improving health. It prepares and delivers medically-tailored meals to support the health and well-being of people with life-threatening illnesses in Colorado. 

The organization serves more than 3,500 Coloradans annually, 56% of whom live at or below the federal poverty level, and more than 60 percent of whom require a special diet due to their illness. 

Due to the pandemic, demand for these meals has increased significantly. In the past year, the number of people receiving meals has grown from 1,200 to 1,416 Coloradans each week.

With this increased community demand also comes greater expense. In times like these, businesses, industries and communities alike must come together to show an outpouring of support for our trusted nonprofits through partnerships and donations. 

READ: Colorado Sun opinion columnists.

Our Denver community has an opportunity to do just that during Project Angel Heart’s 2021 Dining Out for Life event — sponsored by Bank of America and in partnership with Visit Denver’s Denver Restaurant Week — from Friday, April 23, to Sunday, May 2.

For 27 years, Project Angel Heart has hosted this annual event, which raises funds to continue preparing and delivering medically-tailored meals while supporting local restaurants here in Colorado.

In addition to alleviating hunger, medically-tailored meals help residents with HIV/AIDS, cancer, kidney disease and other life-threatening conditions live healthy and productive lives, reduce hospital readmission rates and lower health care costs.

As part of its approach to strengthening communities and driving economic opportunity, Bank of America recognizes the importance of investing in and supporting community partners like Project Angel Heart who are making a meaningful impact locally by addressing key issues like food insecurity and healthcare needs. 

Through continued partnerships like this, together we are able to help Coloradans live healthy and productive lives and ultimately help them chart a path toward economic mobility.

In previous years, Project Angel Heart relied on the generosity of participating restaurants to donate 25% of sales during Dining Out For Life. Due to the impacts of the pandemic, restaurants won’t be asked to donate this year.

Instead, we’re asking Colorado residents, business leaders and community members to step forward, participate, and raise awareness to help Project Angel Heart continue delivering life-saving meals to Coloradans who need them most.

Here’s how you can help:

  1. Make a gift at diningoutforlifedenver.org. Gifts of $30 or more will be matched, thanks to the Lu Foundation.
  2. While you’re on the website, look for participating restaurants and make plans to support them by dining onsite or ordering take-out. You can enjoy your meal wherever feels most comfortable to you. 
  3. Post your meal or experience using the #DiningOutForLife hashtag on social media and let your friends know how to participate.

Your support is more important than ever. No matter how you dine, you can give back by participating in Dining Out For Life. 

Thank you to all of our partners and neighbors for coming together to support a cause that truly has an incredible impact on our vulnerable community members.


Raju Patel is the Denver market president of Bank of America. Owen Ryan is the president and CEO of Project Angel Heart.


The Colorado Sun is a nonpartisan news organization, and the opinions of columnists and editorial writers do not reflect the opinions of the newsroom. Read our ethics policy for more on The Sun’s opinion policy and submit columns, suggested writers and more to opinion@coloradosun.com.

The Colorado Sun has no paywall, meaning readers do not have to pay to access stories. We believe vital information needs to be seen by the people impacted, whether it’s a public health crisis, investigative reporting or keeping lawmakers accountable.

This reporting depends on support from readers like you. For just $5/month, you can invest in an informed community.