PORTLAND, Ore. — The doors are still open at Al-Amir Lebanese Restaurant in Downtown Portland. The business is not open out of defiance; instead they’re using the space to serve people in need.
“This is our family restaurant,” said owner Lydia Massaad. “Since March we have been serving entire families."
She's accustomed to serving entire families, but not in this way. Massaad is also the founder of Our Giving Table, an organization that works to get complete, nutritious meals to foster kids and underprivileged children across the state of Oregon.
“Usually during the school year we’re able to go into schools and meet with counselors and give the kids food, because often they don’t have anything to eat over a weekend," she said. "Now it’s important that these kids get food during the week and through the weekend, because they might not get food from anyplace else.”
On Tuesdays, volunteers team up at Al-Amir to get food boxes to families. The hope is that the food they deliver will feed the families for 10 days.
“Inside we have tables that are separated, and every table has a food category on it,” said Massaad. “We try to make complete meals, we have breakfast items, fruits and vegetables, breads jellies, soups.”
Each week, local Papa Murphy’s stores donate 250 pizzas to Al-Amir. Food boxes are put together and then sent out for delivery in a matter of hours.
“I’ve never seen the need so great as it is now,” said Massaad. She hopes Our Giving Table can continue to be a resource for local people, to help see them through the pandemic. “Our community cares about you, we care about you, we are thinking about you."