The Charlottesville 29 raising thousands for Blue Ridge Area Food Bank

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- The Charlottesville 29 Restaurant Auctions are in full swing, and every dollar of the highest bids goes toward the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank.

The Charlottesville 29 is a group of 29 restaurants, chosen by founder Simon Davidson, that represent the best of Charlottesville. Every day since June 17, the restaurants have been auctioning what Davidson calls “over-the-top” restaurant experiences.

"At C&O, you can have a private celebration dinner for 30 in their famous upstairs dining room,” said Davidson. “At Duner's, you can have a holiday party for 50 people. And then here at Lampo, they will come to your house and build a replica of their pizza oven, and then they'll come out there and show you how to use it too."

Each auction has 30 days for the highest bid to be made before closing. In 2016, the auction raised just over $86,000. This year, it hopes to beat that.

"The goal, in the end, would be to $100,000 and the food bank is so efficient that each dollar creates four meals for the area's hungry,” said Davidson. “So that would be more than 400,000 meals for our area's hunger."

Millie Winstead, director of development with the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank, said this auction helps not only to raise money but to raise awareness.

"The Charlottesville 29 Auction opens the eyes to many people that there is still a problem of hunger in our community,” she said. “So many people don't understand that."

Winstead said the food bank is on target to distribute more than 26 million pounds of food across the Thomas Jefferson Service Area.

She said it is grateful for the generosity of the Charlottesville 29 restaurants.

"They, probably more than anybody, know how important it is to feed people,” said Winstead. “It's what they do day in and day out. And to have a chance to feed even that many more people. Some people that might not be able to enjoy a meal out but having that meal at home with their family is so crucial."

Bidding is still open for all of the ones that have been announced so far. The first item up for bidding, which was from Peter Chang, will end July 17. Nine more restaurants’ prizes still need to be announced. You can check them out on the website in the Related Link box.

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