September 21, 2020

Responding to COVID-19

Since our last update, our communities have continued to struggle through the COVID-19 pandemic. Many community anchors have shut down, workers have had to return to work in unsafe conditions, families are unable to pay their rent. But through it all, our communities have proven that we are stronger when we work together. APANO is humbled to do our part in making sure our communities are safe, strong and well-resourced throughout COVID. Read on about our efforts in small business relief, household assistance, and food security among BIPOC communities. Stay informed and follow us on Facebook. Interested in partnering in our work? Email

Small Business Support

Through our Prosper Portland grant and partnership with the Community Chamber Coalition of Oregon, Portland Means Progress, Inclusive Business Resource Network and the Neighborhood Prosperity Network, we distributed over 120 PPE boxes filled with masks, sanitizer, signage and gloves to our business community including Thai Yummy and Potala Imports. Many of our businesses were extremely grateful for these kits, as these items are mandatory but hard to source and often expensive.

If you're a small business in need of PPE, sign up to get a free box funded by the federal CARES Act. PPE will be mailed to you. Questions about eligibility and other PPE needs? Email Grace, our Small Business Advisor at

Food Security Program

Image from BIBA CHamoru FB page

Breaking bread together, sharing a meal, nourishing ourselves and feeding our families: food is essential. In the challenges and uncertainties amidst COVID-19, APANO is inspired to do our part to help those who face food insecurity. We have partnered with 12 local BIPOC owned restaurants and three farms to provide hot meals for 420 BIPOC households and a box of farm fresh, locally grown produce for another 130 households who are experiencing food insecurity.

Our Food Security Program strives to foster a mutually beneficial relationship between restaurants, farms and local households during this time of the COVID crisis. We're humbled to work alongside Mora Mora Farms, Pablo Munoz Farms and Simington Gardens, along with the BHUNA, BIBA CHamoru, Bollywood Bites, Everybody Eats, Ko Sisters Seoul Food, Meals 4 Heels, Mehka Grill, Mekong Bistro, Miss’ippi Chef, Sisters Ethiopian, Tambayan, and Thai Roses.

We hope to continue to build on and expand this program over the next couple of months, to receive more information on our Food Security Program, please email

I am really happy to be able to eat from a restaurant. It made me feel fancy for a little bit. I have a voucher for Everybody Eats and knowing it was a Black owned business, and part of my Black community, also made me very excited.

It is so nice to receive fresh produce, I don't get it often. I am excited to cook and eat fresh food.

Washington County Support

Beaverton Rent Assistance Program

From May through July, we disbursed rent assistance to 31 households from funds from the City of Beaverton. In partnership with Community Action of Washington County, Centro Cultural, and Muslim Educational Trust, our collective of rent assistance providers was able to provide culturally specific support to Beaverton and Washington County renters.

Read some renter trends about Beaverton residents

Unemployment: A large majority of households also expressed difficulty with accessing unemployment benefits due to backlog of claims. Folks have applied but haven’t received anything.

Independent contractors (Uber/Lyft drivers; self-employed): 16 individuals we spoke with were self-employed, mostly as Uber/Lyft drivers or as gig-workers (hairdressing, informal childcare, bike maintenance, etc.).

Childcare responsibilities: Almost all households (26 households) had school-aged children and/or children under the age of 5. Many families had one parent as the primary caretaker, but with concerns over health and safety, most who worked as independent contractors have opted to stay home to help take care of the family.

Promote continued Emergency Rent Support through Community Action partnership

We want to continue supporting our API and BIPOC renters in Washington County. Folks who are behind on rent can call APANO's hotline number 971-238-2186 or email to apply for emergency rent assistance and energy assistance through Community Action. Leave a message with your name and reason for calling, and someone from APANO will return your call and help you through the screening and intake process.

Washington County Housing Resource Guide

Read and share our Washington County Housing Resource Guide made possible in part by a grant from the City of Hillsboro. Stay tuned for translated versions of the guide.

What’s Inside:

  • Community resources
  • Resources for renters and homeowners
  • Interactive pages and infographics for folks seeking rental housing
  • Financial and legal services and information
  • Where to find information for benefits and assistance

APANO’s COVID-19 Impacted Workers Fund

In March as shutdowns due to the coronavirus began, APANO was concerned about AAPI workers losing their jobs and being unable to support their families. We were hearing from many in the Jade District that folks had already been experiencing cutbacks and layoffs as Asian-owned businesses had been experiencing the impacts of COVID since February.

We knew we needed to respond, and we’ve been overwhelmed by the incredible way that communities have come together to support impacted workers in this unprecedented and challenging time. Through an online fundraiser, hundreds of individuals contributed $45,000 to our Impacted Workers Fund, and sponsors and other organizations helped bring our total for the fund to over $123,000. With these funds, we bought hundreds of gift cards to mail to impacted families. We have sent gift cards to over 800 households, distributing almost $80,000 in direct relief for families to use for food, utilities, and whatever else they needed to cover, all across Oregon. We also partnered with Black-led organizations who have also distributed these relief funds to hundreds more families.

Image: 2nd procurement of giftcards deployed on April 3

The incredible reach of this effort was entirely thanks to community organizations and leaders who partnered with us to sign up families from their communities. With the overwhelming response to the fund, we were able to extend gift cards to not just AAPI households but many different communities across the Portland metro, Washington County, and the state.

APANO is incredibly grateful to the work and partnership of:

Basic Rights Oregon

Black Resilience Fund

Cambodian American Community of Oregon

Community Alliance of Tenants

Hmong American Community of Oregon

IRCO Asian Family Center

Jade District community leaders Rosaline Hui and Victor Leo

Lao Senior Association of Oregon

Lao Women Association

Wat Lao Buddhathammaram

National Alliance for Filipino Concerns

Oregon Marshallese Community Association

Rengelkel Belau

Samoa Pacific Development Corporation

Straightway Services

Utopia PDX

Virginia Garcia

In addition to the 360 donors, we appreciate the generous gifts of the following sponsors:

NIKE Ascend Network

Umpqua Bank



Prosper Portland

Port of Portland

Oregon Asian Pacific American Bar Association

CHA Mortgage Company

Fubonn Shopping Center


Japanese American Citizens League