United Chinese Americans (UCA) launched its first nation-wide Food of Love Day on Sunday by delivering free meals to shelters, soup kitchens and food banks.
According to Iowa City Press Citizen, UCA collaborated with a coalition of Chinese American civic organizations and restaurants, including the US China Restaurant Alliance.
UCA stated on their website that Food of Love Day aimed to “coordinate with Chinese American communities in all 50 states and more than 100 cities to donate food to the people and institutions hit hardest by the new coronavirus.”
The organization chose to commemorate May 10, the same day in 1869 when Chinese immigrants completed the construction of the Transcontinental Railroad. May is also Asian Pacific American Islander Heritage month.
To celebrate, UCA encouraged Chinese Americans to organize food drives. “With the COVID crisis creating so much food insecurity for Americans of all ethnicities, it is a great time to come together and share with our neighbors.”
Members of Columbus Chinese American Community Organization delivered 240 hot meals across the country on Sunday, reported ABC 6. Its goal is to deliver 5,000 meals by the end of May.
Program director, Grace Leng, told ABC 6, “Especially for Chinese Americans, that’s very important to team up with all fellow Americans to rise up to the challenge faced by the country to everybody to contribute.”
Oregon Chinese American Community also provided more than 400 meals sourced from local restaurants. KOIN reported that meals were given to women across five of the Salvation Army’s shelters in the Portland metro area.
Former President of Chinese Friendship Association of Portland, Hardy Li, told KOIN, “In this Asian Heritage Month and amid the global crisis we make this donation to show our love on this special Mother’s Day.”
UCA will continue to provide COVID-19 aid as needed, according to Press Citizen.
Founder Lily Chen explained to Press Citizen, “We had a lot of firsthand and secondhand experiences [providing COVID-19 aid] from our friends and families in China.” She continued, “It was very natural for us to pivot [to U.S. aide].”
As the slogan behind Food of Love Day is “combat hate with love” Chen said she was proud to see Chinese Americans contributing to community aid amid racism related to the pandemic.
“Sometimes the current political environment is really hostile to immigrants, and as a community, we just feel it’s not fair and it’s not right for any group to be targeted,” Chen told Press Citizen. “I think we feel — not the need to prove ourselves — but (we do this) because it’s right.”
For more information, visit the UCA website.
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