Casey House is taking a bold step forward by igniting a conversation around the stigma people living with HIV experience. The new campaign, Break Bread Smash Stigma was inspired by a study revealing shocking statistics around Canadians’ perceptions of people living with HIV/AIDs.
Despite the fact that HIV cannot be transmitted through food preparation or sharing of food, according to the Smash Stigma survey, only half of Canadians would knowingly share food with, or eat food prepared by, someone who is HIV positive. This misconception inspired Casey House to open the world’s first pop-up restaurant run by HIV positive chefs.
June’s, named after Casey House’s founder and prolific Canadian activist June Callwood, will pop up in Toronto from November 7-8 in collaboration with chef Matt Basile of Fidel Gastro. Chef Basile will work with 14 HIV positive individuals-turned-cooks to develop the menu, train, and cook for patrons when the restaurant opens. “The stigma around HIV and AIDS is still very real, isolating many patients across the city, the country and the globe,” said Kenneth Poon, Casey House client. “I stand proud to be part of this powerful group of 14 HIV positive chefs to boldly break barriers and end the isolation that I have felt and others continue to feel. Through the compassionate care that I received at Casey House, I made it through those darkest days and I am here today, helping others who are living with HIV/AIDS.”
Tickets to this one-of-a-kind dining experience are available at juneseatery.ca.
June’s HIV+ Eatery was created in partnership with Canada’s largest independent agency, Bensimon Byrne and is presented by RBC. “This is a unique and thought-provoking event, and we are honoured to be a part of it,” Lawrence Spicer, RBC Vice President, Audit. “The conversations it will stimulate should help reduce the stigma faced by people living with HIV/AIDS.”