Happy BiBim Bap House closes for dinner every Monday so the restaurant can feed the homeless.
After the lunch crowd is done and the last customer has walked out the door, Happy BiBim Bap House owners begin preparing to feed over 200 more people. The Park family loads up food and heads down under the Marion Street Bridge in Salem, Oregon every Monday. They are set up and ready to serve food to the homeless by promptly 4 pm each week.
The Parks pay for the food out of the money they make at the restaurant. They have a number of volunteers from their church, Korean Church of Salem, who help them distribute the meals each week. It has been almost three years since Happy BiBim Bap House started closing every Monday evening for dinner. The desire to give back came to the family after they participated in a few missions with their church.
Mrs. Park shared with the local news they serve both Korean and American food to homeless people each week. She, her husband, and their staff of volunteers prepare vats of yellow curry, corn dogs, rice, and yakisoba noodles. In the summer, the staff will make fried rice instead of the curry just to switch it up. Mrs. Park said the restaurant likes to stick to simple American and Korean dishes with as little meat as possible for those who are vegetarians.
“Some people like it, some people don’t. I don’t want to cause any trouble,” she shared on why she chooses to cook American along with Korean food.
There is no wasting food either. Mrs. Park brings a stack of to-go containers so people have more food for the week. She even inscribes Bible verses on each one to try and provide inspiration.
Thanks to their church, the Parks are never short of volunteers to help them out. In order to help give back to the church, Happy BiBim Bap House has a donation box inside the restaurant with a sign sharing gratitude for the restaurant’s success and the owner's desire to give back to the community. All of those donations go to help give Christmas gifts through the Korean Church of Salem.
Happy BiBim Bap House are doing their part to give back and are truly inspiring people. We should all take a page from their book.