There is no question that restaurants, grocery stores, grocery programs, and the people who depend on them have all suffered greatly during the pandemic. In addition to these struggles, Asian communities in particular face appalling racism, hatred and violence. Moonlynn Tsai, co-owner of., Realizes how isolating this must be for the older members of her community Coptiam in New York City, and her partner Yin Chang came in to help.
Their organization has been since the beginning of the pandemic Heart of dinner has donated over 65,000 hot meals, groceries, and care kits to NYC’s elderly Asian population. “With food, we have this tool to show our elderly that the community is here,” says Chang. “That despite all this devastating news, there is still hope.”
Heart of Dinner started out as a supper club. “Actually, it was about“ offering a space for people who feel alone and lonely ”. says Chang. But when the pandemic broke out, the two quickly turned their supperclub into a food donation service for Asian seniors with Chang, Tsai, volunteers, and partner companies – such as: Cervos and Party bus bakery – Provision, cook and package hundreds of meals from rotating kitchen spaces.
“For the dishes that we and our restaurant partners cook each week, we ask you to prepare a meal that will remind you of your grandparents or that your grandparents raised you up”, Tsai reiterates the importance of nutrition for the nourish elderly with familiar , soothing aromas.
Tsai also talks about the difficulties of coming out to her family and the Asian community. “When I grew up and was locked up for a long time, it was almost like you hadn’t told your family to save you Face, ”she explains. After commenting on her relationship with Chang in an article she wondered about Heart of Dinner, dreading how it would affect the community she worked so hard for. “One of our elders read it and thanked him warmly, saying, ‘If you hadn’t gotten together, I don’t know what would have happened,’” recalls Chang.
The two attribute a large part of the success of Heart of Dinner to the good collaboration. “Because we’ve been together for so long, we understand each other’s personalities, strengths and weaknesses, and how we can complement each other,” says Tsai.
“I’m so grateful to have Moonlynn by my side for this work,” says Chang. “And I couldn’t have imagined doing this job with anyone else. I am very happy.”