Two Impacted Parties
As the offspring of broke Chinese immigrants, I vividly remember skipping meals prior to going to Mandarin Buffet and Grill for dinner among other local Asian restaurants throughout my childhood. Memories like these are what makes it particularly heartbreaking for me to watch predominantly Asian-American restaurants, as well as low-income households, suffer the most amid the COVID-19 outbreak.
Stricken by xenophobia, Oakland and San Francisco Chinatown restaurants report business having declined by 50% or more. On the other hand, food banks are being overwhelmed with millions of Americans left unemployed and devastated by lay-offs. Through this economic hardship rises a chance for collaboration between two communities, which is what inspired our team of 7 Asian engineers, designers, and product managers to create Open Meal
Openmeal.org is a platform that allows financially capable people to buy a meal for someone in need through a restaurant that is Impacted. It's two birds, one stone method where we can help the businesses obtain more sales and help recipients get through this crisis.
The Novel Platform
Our platform provides value for users by attending to their role-specific needs: givers can contribute to relief efforts by donating to a "universal pool" of funds, people in need can receive a weekly quota from this pool of funds to "purchase" food from restaurants, and restaurants can gain exposure by listing their profiles/menus onto the platform while also receiving the business they need to pull through this crisis. Our user roadmap is as follows:
- Asian restaurants partner with us (we have 6 partners in San Francisco already, read the next section!)
- Givers contribute money to a universal pool of claimable money
- Receivers redeem part of their weekly at our partnered Asian restaurants on our website and receive a confirmation code.
- Receivers go to the Asian restaurant and input the confirmation code on our site on the restaurant's device.
- The restaurant makes the food and gives it to the receiver.
Despite beginning this project at the start of the hackathon, we're currently partnered with 6 Asian restaurants in the Chinatown and Japantown neighborhoods of San Francisco who have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic:
- Uji Time Dessert
- Adam's Grub Truck
- Washington Bakery & Restaurant
- Dim Sum Corner
- Kiss My Seoul
- Sam Wo Restaurant
Why YOU Should Donate Through OpenMeal.org
You can donate as little as a cent, you can donate as much as $100. Our platform is agnostic to the amount you donate and we don't take any percentage for ourselves.
We're benefitting two of the most vulnerable communities in the scope of the pandemic.
We love people and think no one should go hungry.
We love Asian food and think everyone else should give it a shot too.
Open Meal, opening our hearts to help those in need to close their wallets.