OpenMeal has paid for more than 3,000 meals

Asian American students are banding together to help minority-owned businesses.

OpenMeal provides free meals for those who have been financially affected by Coronavirus.

“We created OpenMeal to support two of the most vulnerable communities: Asian restaurants and individuals in need of meals,” OpenMeal’s website reads.

“As a group of first-generation Asian-American and Asian immigrants, we directly witnessed our favorite Chinese restaurants crumble as a result of the pandemic, xenophobia, and anti-Asian sentiment.”

“It’s a platform where they can chose their own restaurant, their own meal, and the pick up time,” said Jeson Lee, the founder.

Those affected simply apply for a free meal on OpenMeal.org with proof of unemployment. Users can chose a restaurant menu item worth up to $20.

“What a lot of people don’t realize is when you go to a food bank or soup kitchen, while those things are helpful, it does drain you at some point,” said Amy Zhou, the OpenMeal communication and crowd funding lead.

OpenMeal has paid for more than 3,000 meals accross two dozen restaurants.

Wichhica Nhim, who owns Combo A Chinese restaurant in Echo Park, has benefited from the program as his businesses was affected by Covid-19-related racism.

“It’s sad to say, but I did get some nasty phone calls, people calling us and blaming us for the virus and whatnot,” he said.

Owner Leo Matias says OpenMeal pays for at least a half dozen orders each day.

“Do that monthly … things like that is what’s going to help me save my restaurant,” he said.

Un other news, Japanese tennis star Naomi Osaka has called out Coronavirus-related attacks on the Asian community.

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