Noodle Belly owner donates 10,000 KN95 masks to Oakland high school students

The owner of Noodle Belly is giving out 10,000 KN-95 masks to Oakland Unified School Students, the district said.

Eugene Lee, whose restaurant is next to the Fruitvale BART station, decided to donate after he learned there is a pressing need from teachers and students who want higher quality masks during the omicron surge. District warehouse staff members will deliver the masks to the high schools in time for the extended Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday weekend. 

"It's in large measure because of community members like the Lee family that we are able to support our students and families the way we do," Supt. Kyla Johnson-Trammell said in a statement. "Donations to our schools are appreciated every time they happen. But to think of our students and make such a donation just days before opening a restaurant is remarkable. I thank Mr. Lee and his family for supporting the young people of Oakland!"

Spokesman John Sasaki said the district also has 200,000 KN-95 masks on order for all OUSD students a nd expects their delivery soon. 

Oakland teachers are planning a sickout on Thursday over the lack of masks and COVID testing at the schools. This will be the second time an unsanctioned sickout has been held. Students have been issuing similar demands.