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Vancouver Chinese Restaurants donate meals to frontline healthcare workers in fight against COVID-19

Despite suffering many closures of its own, the Vancouver Chinese restaurant industry has come together in an effort to support frontline healthcare workers working during the COVID-19 epidemic.

“Chopsticks to Heroes” is an initiative where Vancouver-area Asian restaurants will dontate meals to local hospitals.

This April, 30 Chinese restaurants will donate 1,500 meals to Vancouver General Hospital, while Mount Saint Joseph Hospital will receive 1,400 meals. Future plans will benefit UBC Hospital Purdy Pavilion, Royal Columbian Hospital, Richmond Hospital and Burnaby Hospital.

“Frontline health care workers have been working tirelessly throughout the pandemic,” explained Chopsticks to Heroes organizer Chinese Restaurant Awards on its website. “Local Asian restaurants have decided to band together and offer a bit of solace: a nutritious and satisfying meal.”

Initiative participants, which include two Japanese restaurants, say they feel its their responsibility to take part.

“They’re actually risking their lives for us to be safe so we have to do something for them,” said Dachen Yang, whose Fortune Terrace Chinese Cuisine restaurant has been forced to close its doors to the public.

“It’s our responsibility to care about people who fight [for] lives and who save the ones we care [about],” said Yang. “They are more important than us, I think.”

Chinese Restaurant Awards’ Rae Kung said the response from the public has been very positive. Originally a two-week plan, the initiative has since been expanded to include a public fundraising drive that has collected over $3,000 on its GoFundMe page.

As described, 100% of proceeds go towards the restaurants providing the food. $500 will pay for 100 emergency food box meals provided to one health care facility for one day.

“Chopsticks for Heroes” looks to further expand their efforts to provide support for seniors’ homes and fundraising for personal protective equipment for medical professionals.

Images: CBC

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