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Heart of Dinner was founded by romantic couple Yin Chang and Moonlynn Tsai over a shared love for language and food. Their late-night conversations about the global impact of COVID-19 and the heightened racism towards Asian Americans, especially towards the Elderly community, soon became questions around how to create uplifting change that bridge cultural divides and heal communities.
On April 1st 2020, the duo cooked the first-ever Heart of Dinner hot lunches for those most vulnerable around Manhattan's Chinatown area, with a focus on homebound elders who've historically been overlooked by society and government where they are rarely allocated resources and access to basic necessities for survival. Immediately after its inception, Heart of Dinner's blueprint works in a way that purchases culturally thoughtful and senior-friendly hot dishes and groceries to support in the local small businesses' Covid-19 recovery process. With the help of their values-aligned restaurant partners, a thriving community of volunteers, and incredible donors, Heart of Dinner has been able to expand its reach throughout the different boroughs in NYC, and have since provided over 100,000 meals in January 2022.
Equally as important as the meals, Heart of Dinner counters isolation and loneliness within the AAPI Elderly population. With the talk of depression often stigmatized in Elderly immigrant generations, Heart of Dinner's mission is to provide comfort, warmth, cheer, and a feeling of belonging in a thoughtful and holistic way that respects and honors the cultural nuances. Since April 1st, 2020, handwritten notes of love and encouragement in the Elderly's native languages have been included with each meal; notes that say "We are thinking of you and we love you!" With the tremendous help of thousands of volunteers, Heart of Dinner is able to deliver culturally thoughtful foods that are assembled inside care packages that are made with uniquely hand-illustrated bags attached with the handwritten notes.
Heart of Dinner has been delivering care packages every Wednesday for over the past two years and has shown up for the Elderly with intention and dedication, never once missing a Wednesday (even showing up during holidays, snowstorms, and hailstorms!) To join Heart of Dinner in their efforts to continue reaching more homebound Elderly living in isolation throughout NYC and help them eventually make their way to the Los Angeles and San Francisco/Oakland area, please consider donating.
Heart of Dinner is fiscally sponsored through Edward Charles Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, tax ID 26-4245043. Help us hit our ambitious goal to provide 250,000 meals to our senior community with a tax-deductible donation through our fiscal sponsor.
Click here to read our origin story in Glamour's "Women of the Year" profiling our founders and a detailed look at the early days.
Watch the accompanying video below. Note that at the 0:18 second time mark, the video accidentally notes cofounders names in the wrong placement. The correct name placements should be Moonlynn Tsai on the left & Yin Chang on the right.