Supporting our community through crisis

From the onset of the COVID-19 epidemic, API Council worked with the Stupski Foundation and our members to provide support for the API community.  Ensuring food availability and security for low-income API families and seniors was a key priority for API Council, especially as the pandemic required member organizations to shift to meal delivery to ensure the community continued to be fed. 

API Council members stepped up to the plate to ensure community members were fed during the Spring and Summer of 2020 through multiple surges. Organizations like the Bayanihan Equity Center (BEC) built on its immigrant food assistance program to provide food for seniors who were not able to access food distribution sites in their neighborhood, with a focus on the South of Market and Tenderloin neighborhoods. These organizations have continued to partner with API Council to design food security programs for the future of our communities. 

Feeding our community:

  • BEC distributed over 18,000 supplemental groceries during the height of the pandemic when social distancing was critical for high-risk groups. 
  • Self-Help for the Elderly also joined this effort to provide seniors with meals, providing over 11,000 nutritious meals to isolated and homebound seniors in the community. 
  • Kimochi also provided more than 20,000 meals to seniors in the Japantown community in the immediate surge of COVID. 
  • Chinatown Community Development Center created the Feed and Fuel program, serving food to residents of Chinatown’s SRO and public housing from Chinatown restaurants to help sustain the community and small businesses. The Feed and Fuel program provided over 120,000 meals during a four month period. 
  • Working with the YMCA, the Community Youth Center helped provide 6,720 food packages to Chinatown families through their Pop Up Pantry. 

API Council also worked with the Stupski Foundation to ensure that member organizations had the necessary personal protective equipment like masks, hand sanitizer, gloves, and face shields to keep themselves safe while serving the community. Member organizations also worked to distribute additional PPE to community members working in essential jobs or living in congregate housing, putting them at the highest risk. 

Partnering with the Asian Pacific Fund, API Council created the COVID-19 collaboration fund, raising over $400,000 which resulted in grants to the Council’s member organizations to fund their response to the pandemic’s challenges. Grants helped fund a marketing and outreach campaign to re-energize Chinatown’s economy, assisted restaurants in lease negotiations and with city permitting to create new outdoor dining spaces, provided hands-on assistance for community members struggling to receive unemployment benefits, and created recruitment events to sustain the workforce.