Phoenix-based food company helping Beirut in a big way after explosions
Jeff Malkoon and his sister, Denise, founded Americano Foods and are third-generation Lebanese Americans. Malkoon said the pair has relatives and close friends living in Lebanon and both were in disbelief upon learning of the situation at the Port of Beirut -- thousands injured and at least 200 killed after large amounts of an explosive substance ignited.
“Our first thought was to make sure everybody was safe and our next thought was, ‘What can we do to help?'” Malkoon told ABC15.
The pair learned of a relief effort by the Children’s Cancer Center of Lebanon to provide cancer treatments for six months, at no cost, to children from Beirut-area hospitals who were displaced by the disaster. The hospital made the decision to provide the emergency support despite its own facilities being damaged, Malkoon said. Hospital officials estimate it will require millions of dollars to provide emergency relief.
“We thought this was such a beautiful thing and we wanted to support them and help keep them on their feet,” Malkoon said.
Throughout the month of September, 100% of proceeds through the company's website will go to support the cancer center in its efforts. FirstBank, one of the country's largest privately held banks, is matching whatever Americano Foods makes throughout September. The bank has a strong focus on "banking for good."