Food guru Kf Seetoh and the eleven Singaporean hawkers he brought over to New York to open Urban Hawker are offering employment to migrants who have been brought in from Texas.
“We want to hire them,” Mr Seetoh posted in an Instagram video on Monday (Sept 19).
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“New York and America gave us this opportunity and we are passing this on.”
At the beginning of his video, he posted screenshots from recent CNN stories about the relocation of migrants last week by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.
On Wednesday last week, Mr DeSantis sent around 50 undocumented migrants, mostly from Venezuela and Colombia, to Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts, seemingly with no notice, as “a relocation program to transport illegal immigrants to sanctuary destinations”.
On the day before, two buses from Texas of mostly Venezuelan migrants were brought to the doorstep of US Vice President Kamala Harris, in Washington, DC.
In a show of compassion and solidarity, Mr Seetoh and the hawkers have reached out via social media.
He wrote, “Our Singapore hawkers here in New York would love to work with these migrants too.
If allowed and they are keen to learn, we’d love to share our heritage food skills with them.
It’s a useful lifelong skill.”
He also wrote that if there is anyone who can help them connect to the migrants, they could reach them at firstname.lastname@example.org
“It’s a land of opportunities and migrants are folks that need jobs too. They help prop up the industry,” he wrote in the caption.
In the comments to the post, he indicated that other nationalities are also welcome.
Many netizens applauded the post and praised Mr Seetoh.
Urban Hawker is scheduled for a soft opening beginning on Sept 21.
Urban Hawker food market is located at 135 West 50th Street, within walking distance of Times Square in Manhattan.
The Singapore hawkers are Halal burger joint Ashes Burnnit, Sembawang’s White beehoon chain and coffee stall Kopifellas, Peranakan restaurant Daisy’s Dream, Chicken Nice from Maxwell Food Centre, Dragon Phoenix (known for its chilli crab and for inventing the yam ring), Prawnaholic (serving Hokkien-style prawn noodle soup), Hainanese Western stall Smokin’ Joe, Malay and Indonesian cafe Padi@Bussorah, Indian stall Mamak’s Corner, and Mr Fried Rice.
In November of last year, the food guru announced that his team would work with Urbanspace, a US food hall operator, to open a Singaporean hawker centre in New York City.
The street-food vendors were hand-picked by Mr Seetoh himself. /TISG