BALDWIN, N.Y. (CBSNewYork)- A charitable foundation has partnered with Long Island civic groups to lure patrons with the idea of dining out at half the cost.

Breakfast never tasted so good. Retiree Anthony Ditzio is now part of “Split The Bill,” so eating out means reimbursement.

“How do you feel about getting back half of that check?” CBS2’s Jennifer McLogan asked.

“Sounds good to me,” Ditzio said. “I’m gonna be H-A-P-P-Y, happy about it.”

“We’ve got rain out there, we’ve got curfews going into local businesses, but there’s a bright spot here in Baldwin,” said Eric Alexander, of Vision Long Island.

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After its successful launch in Farmingdale in May, “Split The Bill” has come to Baldwin. A whole host of restaurants are on board. Dine at the eateries, take a photo of your food and receipt, and half your bill, up to $30, will be returned to you via PayPal or Venmo.

“Benefit the small independent mom-and-pop restaurants, and they’re the ones who are the driving force of economic development in our downtown communities,” said Baldwin Civic Association President Darien Ward.

“Split The Bill” is focused on Long Island businesses that have not received Paycheck Protection Program loans.

“It’s scary if things go back to the way they were,” one diner said.

“It’s gonna be tough of him, with everything closing up at 10 o’clock now,” another diner said.

Philanthropist Sidgmore Foundation is funding “Split The Bill.”

“People are shocked when they see that money coming back to them so quickly,” said Jeffrey Gelbwaks, of the Sidgmore Foundation. “But we’d love to find other corporate and family foundations that  want to support us.”

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“Split The Bill” is hoping to expand its initiative across the state, and even the country, during the pandemic with the help of private or corporate sponsors.

“We are urging the residents go out, order dinner tonight. Bring it home for your kids. Bring it home. Put it in the fridge, put it in the freezer because these are the dollars that are going to keep them open,” said Hempstead Town Supervisor Don Clavin.

“We’ve been coming here a long time, over 20 years,” one diner said.

“Invite more people to come out and support our local restaurants,” another diner said.

“Split The Bill” continues after 10 p.m. for curbside pickup. For more information, visit splitthebillny.com.

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