ST. LOUIS — Several restaurants around the St. Louis area will participate in a week-long fundraiser to benefit The Very Asian Foundation.
Beginning Monday, Feb. 7, 15 restaurants will donate a portion of sales from dedicated menu items to the foundation. St. Louisans are encouraged to dine-in or carry out from AAPI owned and operated spots through Feb. 14.
The fundraiser comes after a rise in anti-Asian hate crimes, according to a press release.
"Our hope through this fundraiser is that members of the St. Louis community can stand in solidarity, while learning about AAPI culture through food - whether that be traditional dumplings or any of the other amazing offerings from our partners," said Shayn Prapaisilp, owner of Chao Baan and of King & I.
Another motivator behind the fundraiser is what started the foundation – a voicemail 5 On Your Side anchor Michelle Li received. Li received a hateful message after she shared that she ate dumplings on New Year’s Day during a news segment.
The caller said Li’s comments were “inappropriate” and said she should “keep her Asian to herself.” Li posted about the voicemail on social media and it went viral with several people supporting her across the country, sharing the #VeryAsian movement.
After her post went viral, Li appeared on the Ellen DeGeneres Show where she received a $15,000 contribution towards launching the foundation.
“After Michelle’s experience, and an outpouring of support including an interview with Ellen DeGeneres, we knew that there was more to do. It’s incredible how a hateful reaction has spurred action to create a foundation that spreads awareness, education and empowerment to stand up against hate,” said Alex Lee, President of the Asian American Chamber of Commerce St. Louis.
Restaurants participating in the fundraiser:
- Chao Baan
- Corner 17
- Drunken Fish
- Hello Poke
- Kimchi Guys
- King & I
- Mai Lee
- Nami Ramen
- Nippon Tei
- Nudo House
- Sando Shack
- Seoul Taco