2022 Pre-Thanksgiving Free Lunch to the Homeless at Dorothy Day Place

Reported by Zan Gao

As usual, the Chinese American Association of Minnesota (CAAM) adhered to its tradition of
more than 30 years and delivered a “Pre-Thanksgiving Free Lunch” at the Dorothy Day Place of
Catholic Charities in St. Paul, the capital of Minnesota, on November 20th (Sunday). This has
been the third time CAAM served the homeless since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Nearly 240 homeless enjoyed a warm and delicious Chinese lunch.
This meal delivery event was coordinated by Mr. Ping Wang, with the assistance from Vice
President Guoqin Li, Secretary-General Zan Gao, Treasurers Lin Shu and Li Tang, Board of
Directors Qiang Fang, Shi Peng, and Gang Ji (CAAM-TCCLS representative of Twin-Cities
Chinese School), as well as two volunteers (Xia Liu, Zhihong Yang). The 250 exquisite and
delicious Chinese meals for this event were prepared by the Rose Garden Asian Bistro in

Same as last year, it was a relatively warmer winter. Although there was chilly wind, the
sunshine swept every corner of St. Paul. Around 9:30am in the morning, the CAAM board
members and volunteers arrived at the kitchen of the charity center and started various lunch
preparations: washing and cutting apples, cutting cabbage, making fruit salad, etc. Around
10:45am, Mr. Zhou, the owner of the Rose Garden Chinese Restaurant, and his wife delivered
the Chinese food ordered by the CAAM. Then, the thoughtful board members packed and
delivered some food in lunch boxes in advance for the homeless people with compromised

mobility and placed the rest of the warm food in incubators and some on the insulation table in
the service area in front of the kitchen.

At 11:45 am, the staff opened the door of the activity center to the public, and many
homeless came in one after another and lined up to receive free food in an orderly manner. The
atmosphere was warm and lively. Under the careful arrangement of the CAAM, this “Pre-
Thanksgiving Free Lunch” event provided a variety of nutritiously-balanced delicious food,
including vegetable spring rolls, sweet sour chicken, fried rice with eggs, chicken noodles,
salads, apples, etc. Everyone who walked in received a free meal as above-mentioned food.
Milk and orange juice were also provided by the charity center in unlimited quantities. Some
homeless walked up to the volunteers to express their gratitude before leaving the center: “I like
Chinese food. Thank you very much!” “The food was great!” The joy on their faces were
contagious and all volunteers were inspired.

At the end of the meal delivery, the administrator in charge of the charity center said that
they prepare three free meals every day for the local homeless to help them survive the long
winter. The Chinese food provided by the CAMM offered them with more food options. There
were nearly 240 homeless came to receive the free Chinese meal. The leftovers were used as
part of the dinner for the homeless. The charity center was very grateful for CAAM’s charitable
offerings over the years. In this regard, Mr. Ping Wang, president of the CAAM stated that the
CAAM aims to provide various Chinese cultural and artistic exchanges including training,
education and services for local Chinese and Chinese – Americans and other friends who care
about and love Chinese culture. These activities are aimed to promote friendship and mutual
assistance. The event of delivering Chinese food to the homeless before Thanksgiving is also
adhering to this purpose.

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