Founded at the onset of COVID-19, Heart of Dinner works to fight food insecurity and isolation experienced by Asian American seniors—two long-standing community issues heightened by the pandemic.
We now serve 1,500+ elders in Lower Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens, delivering weekly hot lunches, fresh produce, and bulk ingredients while supporting local small businesses during their COVID-related recovery process.
DIRECTED BY KAREN YUNG
Nourishing NYC’s Asian elders with love and food every week.
Originally a supper club bringing people together around a shared meal and sense of community, the duo quickly evolved their idea as the pandemic hit. Their late-night conversations about the global impact of COVID-19 and the heightened racism towards Asian Americans soon became questions around how to create positive change. Shortly after, Heart of Dinner’s #LovingChinatown relief efforts were born.
In early April, the duo cooked the first-ever Heart of Dinner #LovingChinatown hot lunches for those most vulnerable around Manhattan's Chinatown area, with a focus on homebound elders. Then with the help of a growing network of volunteers and partner businesses, every Wednesday Yin and Moonlynn began working to provide prepared hot lunches as well as care packages of fresh produce, bulk ingredients, and pantry essentials to reach their goal of delivering 50,000 meals. We are hitting this ambitious milestone in January 2021!
Since the beginning of the pandemic, Heart of Dinner has now grown into an independent 501(c)3 certified non-profit collective. Our community of restaurant partners, in-kind donors, and volunteer care package delivery drivers, note-writers, and brown bag illustrators make HoD the love-powered initiative it is today.
Help us hit our next goal to provide 250,000 meals to our senior community with a tax-deductible donation.
Heart of Dinner was founded in September 2015 by partners in life and love, Yin Chang and Moonlynn Tsai.
Storyteller and actor Yin Chang is the founder/creative director of 88 Cups of Tea, an online platform and podcast for writers looking for guidance and inspiration. Ranked in Apple's top 15 Literature & Arts podcasts and on track to reach one million downloads in 2021, 88 Cups of Tea was also featured in Apple's top 20 podcasts showcasing Asian and Pacific American voices.
As an actor, Yin has starred in films including Disney's Prom, The Bling Ring, and is most recognized for her role in beloved teen drama, Gossip Girl. She has also made appearances on TV shows including Law & Order: SVU, Love Bites, and more. As a short film producer and director-writer, Yin's work has gathered over 13 million views.
Moonlynn Tsai is a first-generation Taiwanese-American chef/restaurateur. Her career started on the west coast, where she helped to open the Michelin Bib restaurant Pine & Crane in Los Angeles and San Jose's first craft beer bar, Original Gravity. Moonlynn then moved to NYC in 2018 to invigorate the newer, larger version of Kopitiam. Shortly after, the Lower East Side restaurant was nominated as a James Beard semi-finalist and received a 2018 critic’s pick from The New York Times. In 2019 Bon Appetit named Kopitiam one of its Hot Ten restaurants.