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Click here to read Glamour's "Women of the Year" profile of the founders and the origin story of Heart of Dinner. Watch the accompanying video above. For a factual note: at the 0:18 second time mark, the correct names are Moonlynn Tsai (LEFT) & Yin Chang (RIGHT).

Click here to watch Fortune Magazine's video feature "Aging Asian Americans face high rates of social isolation and poverty" highlighting Heart of Dinner's hands-on efforts. 

Founded in NYC at the onset of COVID-19, Heart of Dinner's mission works to directly address loneliness, isolation, and food insecurity among Asian American older adults—long-standing community issues that have been historically overlooked across the nation where, more often than not, low-income Elders live in socioeconomic, cultural, and linguistics isolation. Heart of Dinner curates and sources culturally thoughtful and nutritious food, then assembles the essential ingredients inside hand-illustrated brown bags with handwritten love notes attached in the Elders' native languages to respect, honor, and dignify the cultural nuances across the Asian diaspora. The signature Heart of Dinner care packages are delivered directly to the homes of Elder beneficiaries to nourish the physical, mental, and emotional well-being.

Nourishing NYC’s Asian Elders with love and food every week.

OUR STORY

Originally a supper club formed in 2015 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 visions of change and healing through deeply personal approaches, drawing from their own romantic and familial exchanges. The two have taken different paths in their respective lives and careers spanning across entertainment, storytelling, entrepreneurship, and hospitality to reach the same goal: joyfully centering and uplifting people and communities. Their journeys converged in March 2020 when they combined their experiences, resources, and shared love for language and food to initiate Heart of Dinner's relief efforts.

On April 1st 2020, the pair cooked the first-ever Heart of Dinner hot lunches paired with handwritten notes of love for homebound and isolated Elders in Manhattan's Chinatown and surrounding areas, with a focus on providing care and essential nourishment for those with low-to-no income. Driving their efforts through storytelling on social media,​ the pair sparked a widespread movement that captured the hearts of a global audience, snowballing into a rapidly growing community of donors, community partners, volunteers, and independent business partners. 

The love-inspired initiative evolved from modest beginnings in the founders' 350 sq. ft. apartment into a burgeoning 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. By May 2024, Heart of Dinner has home delivered over 185,000 meals to beneficiaries across Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, and The Bronx. This remarkable expansion was made possible thanks to our incredible community of supporters and dedicated team members, each contributing to our shared mission of nurturing and connecting.

Heart of Dinner's innovative approach established a precedent to honor our Elders with deeply personal, dignified, and culturally nuanced care, thinking of each beneficiary as they would their own grandparents leading to features in Time, Vogue, NBC and ABC News, Ellen, WSJ and Fortune, and they’ve been named Glamour Women of the Year.

What’s most meaningful has been the response and acknowledgement from the Elders themselves. One couple that Heart of Dinner first served in 2020, ages 89 and 86, told them: “Thank you for caring for us; thank you for bringing us happiness; thank you for giving us something to look forward to each week. You all are our grandchildren. We love you all.”

Heart of Dinner is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, tax ID 85-2676806. Heart of Dinner not only continues to serve but also strives to embody love and familial care. Join us in our ambitious goal to provide ongoing Heart of Dinner's signature care packages and a sense of home to our Elders through your tax-deductible donation.

Heart of Dinner was founded by partners in life and love, Yin Chang and Moonlynn Tsai.

Yin Chang

FOUNDERS
CO-FOUNDER

New York born and raised actor and storyteller Yin Chang is most recognized for her role in beloved teen drama, Gossip Girl, opening up a long overdue conversation about Asian-American representation in Hollywood. As a short film producer and director, her work has gathered over 13 million views. Experiencing the lack of representation throughout her 15 year career in television and film, Yin launched online platform 88 Cups of Tea in 2015 to amplify diverse voices, nurturing creative writers to write themselves into the heroes of their own stories. 88 Cups of Tea’s podcast arm ranked in Apple's top 15 Literature & Arts podcasts, and featured in Apple’s top 20 Asian and Pacific American voices.

Moonlynn Tsai

CO-FOUNDER

Moonlynn Tsai is a Taiwanese-American restaurateur and entrepreneur who grew up in Carlsbad, California, spending time at her parents’ Chinese-American restaurants leading front-of-house operations, back-end admin work, and marketing. Before committing to a career in hospitality, Moonlynn dabbled in various odd jobs, including buying and selling snuggies and shake weights on eBay. Over the past decade, she combined her lifelong passions for eateries and community building by bringing new hospitality concepts to life, including San Jose’s first craft beer bar; a Michelin Bib Gourmand restaurant in Silver Lake; and a critically acclaimed restaurant on New York’s Lower East Side. 

IN THE MEDIA

Press

The Beauty of Giving: Meet four powerhouses devoted to helping their communities rise above

The Beauty of Giving: Meet four powerhouses devoted to helping their communities rise above

Moonlynn Tsai And Yin Chang On Serving The Elderly And Fighting Pandemic Racism: Bringing meals to those in need while overcoming the dual challenges of COVID and prejudice.

Moonlynn Tsai And Yin Chang On Serving The Elderly And Fighting Pandemic Racism: Bringing meals to those in need while overcoming the dual challenges of COVID and prejudice.

Delivery with Heart: Moonlynn Tsai and Yin Chang are feeding Chinatown’s most vulnerable

Delivery with Heart: Moonlynn Tsai and Yin Chang are feeding Chinatown’s most vulnerable

Home is where the heart is: Heart of Dinner's Moonlynn Tsai and Yin Chang Pulled Together Their Community to Care for Chinatown's Homebound Elderly

Home is where the heart is: Heart of Dinner's Moonlynn Tsai and Yin Chang Pulled Together Their Community to Care for Chinatown's Homebound Elderly

Out on the Frontlines: This Queer Couple Is Feeding NYC’s Chinese Elders With a Loving Touch

Out on the Frontlines: This Queer Couple Is Feeding NYC’s Chinese Elders With a Loving Touch

Meet 2 women providing hot meals to elderly Asian Americans in their community

Meet 2 women providing hot meals to elderly Asian Americans in their community

People Are Writing Notes to Comfort Elderly Asian New Yorkers

People Are Writing Notes to Comfort Elderly Asian New Yorkers

BIPOC Entrepreneurs Have Been Hit Hard by the Pandemic—But as They Work to Save Their Businesses, They're Also Giving Back

BIPOC Entrepreneurs Have Been Hit Hard by the Pandemic—But as They Work to Save Their Businesses, They're Also Giving Back

Providing food to older Asian people in New York with a personal touch

Providing food to older Asian people in New York with a personal touch

Heart of Dinner Is Helping Chinatown’s Most Vulnerable—With Food, Letters, and Love

Heart of Dinner Is Helping Chinatown’s Most Vulnerable—With Food, Letters, and Love

2華女募款 送耆老5萬份餐點「晚餐之心」盼月底達標

2華女募款 送耆老5萬份餐點「晚餐之心」盼月底達標

Inspired?

Help fund Heart of Dinner’s meals and nourish our community of elders.

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