Jason, Suzi, Jacob and Sami Jewett pause from food preparation in their Bamen Ramen food truck.
In the era of coronavirus, helping one another takes many forms.
For Suzi Jewett (MMechEngr’00) and her family, it took the form of noodles and dumplings served to medical professionals in northwest Portland.
Jewett’s husband, Jason, left his high-tech job last year to launch the Bamen Ramen food truck after learning to prepare authentic ramen in Singapore. After nearly a decade dreaming about the concept, the family began service in November.
As the coronavirus pandemic continued this spring, the Jewetts decided to open for one hour each Sunday to serve free food to anyone in the community. Then, on April 21, the normally stationary food truck went mobile, heading to the parking lot of Providence St. Vincent Medical Center to serve free meals to health care staff.
In just one day, they served 500 bowls of ramen and 1,200 gyoza. Two of the couple’s children, 10-year-old Sami and 12-year-old Jacob, helped cook and serve meals.
The location is especially personal to the Jewetts. Their children were born at Providence St. Vincent’s, and the hospital has been treating Jason since he was diagnosed with congestive heart failure in January. They even got the “added bonus” of visiting the ER for X-rays that same afternoon when Sami smashed her fingers in the ice chest during cleanup. (No breaks, just bruises!)
Suzi, who handles IT, accounting and marketing for Bamen Ramen on top of her engineering job at Intel, said she’s been thrilled by the community’s response to the effort. They launched a GoFundMe page to raise money to continue serving free meals.
“We feel like we have been blessed with the opportunity to have the Bamen Ramen truck and have been looking for opportunities to serve,” she said.