Speed Reads

a taste of home

Afghan chef uses traditional meals to welcome hundreds of refugees to the U.S.

Afghan refugees settling into the San Francisco Bay Area are getting a taste of home, courtesy of chef Laila Mir.

Mir grew up in Afghanistan and says she cherishes the memories she has of learning to cook traditional dishes with her mom and grandmother. She moved to the United States at age 9, and with the support of her family, became a chef. Mir is on Shef, an online platform where many immigrants and refugees sell meals to customers in their neighborhoods. She specializes in Afghan food, making authentic items like kofta and firni.

Over the last several weeks, Mir has donated hundreds of meals to Afghan refugees in her area, and intends to keep doing so for the foreseeable future. She made a major delivery to the Muslim Community Center in Pleasanton, with every meal including a note welcoming the recipient to the U.S.

Shef is also helping Afghan refugees by waiving the fees to join the platform and giving each one $3,500 to pay for cooking supplies and food safety training. Co-founder Alvin Salehi, the son of Iranian immigrants, told CBS San Francisco that many of the Afghan refugees "have come to the U.S. under incredibly difficult and devastating circumstances. My hope is that we treat them with kindness. My hope is that we actually try hard to show them the America that they've always dreamt about."