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Sacramento group hands out 400 free lunches + 'Evil Eye' on Amazon: Your AAPI newsletter

Sacramento Bee logoSacramento Bee 10/15/2020 By Ashley Wong, The Sacramento Bee

It is Thursday, Oct. 15, and this is The Sacramento Bee's AAPI weekly newsletter.

Here's a recap of the stories I've covered and ones I'm following:

The Chinese American Council of Sacramento handed out 400 boxed lunches for low-income and elderly Asian American and Pacific Islander residents Oct. 9.

The boxes, filled with chow mein, beef with broccoli and fried chicken, were distributed to seven different AAPI community organizations.

The lunch giveaway is a replacement for what's normally the biggest CACS community fundraiser of the year, the Gold Mountain Celebration Dinner. With large gatherings banned due to the COVID-19 pandemic, CACS organizers decided to pivot and expand their community outreach through free boxed lunches for low-income and elderly AAPI residents.

"We wanted to make sure the community knew that we were still functioning," said Karun Yee, a member of the CACS Foundation and one of the boxed lunches organizers. "We wanted to let people know that we are alive and operating."

Each organization was responsible for distributing the food as they saw fit. Kevin Thai, SCCSC deputy director, delivered their portion of the lunches to three Sacramento elementary school cafeterias, where families whose children rely on school-provided lunches were all notified to arrive.

The elementary school students will be happy, Thai said, since they don't get Chinese food as part of their school-sponsored meals, but their older family members are also excited as well.

"For a lot of our folks, being able to get a good meal like this is out of their budget," Thai said.

In other news

-- What Latinos, immigrants and first-time voters need to know about California's November election [The Sacramento Bee]

-- Editorial Board: With Steve Ly mired in scandal, Bobbie Singh-Allen is best choice for Elk Grove mayor [The Sacramento Bee]

-- Hawaii COVID-19 Data For Race And Ethnicity Is Missing [Honolulu Civil Beat]

-- In a city that's forgetting itself, Seattle's Ron Chew remembers [The Seattle Times]

-- Lea Salonga Talks 'Yellow Rose,' 'Mulan' Criticisms and the Power of BTS [Entertainment Tonight]

-- California poised to reject affirmative action measure despite summer of activism [POLITICO]

-- How Martha Wong Went from Teacher to Politician [Houstonia Magazine]

-- A growing Asian American electorate could help swing Pennsylvania back to blue [NBC News]

-- Affirmative action debate ignores Asian American community college students [NBC News]

-- Inside the Industry Effort to Boost Asian American Representation at Polls Led by 'Agents of SHIELD' Actress, Former Funny or Die Exec [The Hollywood Reporter]

-- Mitsuye Tanamachi, World War II Internee, Dies at 97 [The New York Times]

This week in AAPI pop culture

Spooky season is in full swing: "Evil Eye," the first commercial horror film created by and starring South Asian Americans, was released Tuesday on Amazon Prime Video to positive reviews.

The film follows Usha Khatri, a woman living in New Delhi with her husband, and her daughter, Pallavi, in New Orleans. Usha's agonizing past experience has led to a near-obsession to get Pallavi married and keep her safe from a perceived curse. Borrowing from parts of Indian mythology such as rebirth and karma to explore toxic relationships and generational trauma, Usha's fear takes on a sinister tone when she thinks Pallavi's new boyfriend, Sandeep, is a reincarnation of her former abusive partner.

The film is part of the "Welcome to the Blumhouse" anthology series on Amazon, which showcases diverse casts and filmmakers. It's also the first collaboration between actress Priyanka Chopra and producer Jason Blum, known for films such as 'Get Out' and 'Paranormal Activity.'

"Horror to me only really works if there is a deep emotional stake," said 'Evil Eye' writer Madhuri Shekar in an interview with NBC. "As a new mom, the scariest thing in the world to me is losing family. What happens if you can't control when something bad is happening to a loved one? That's what I wanted to show."

"My quest in life, as a producer, is to influx Hollywood with brown people, because we don't see enough of us," Chopra said in an interview with Cinema Blend. "I want to demand leading parts for people who are like me. I want to have girls that look like me ... It's my greatest joy and honor to be able to create opportunities where I didn't have them."

Got a story suggestion? Please reach out to me at

That's it for this week's newsletter. And don't forget: If you can vote, vote early. Thanks for reading, and see you next week!

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