'I'm just doing my part:' Happy Camp business owner feeds community

Bill Choy
Siskiyou Daily News
Happy Camp resident Daniel Effman, owner of Partners Deli & Arcade, has been feeding his neighbors free of charge since the Slater Fire ravaged his community on Sept. 8, 2020.

Many people in the Happy Camp area have done their part to help their friends and neighbors in the aftermath of the Slater Fire, which ravaged the community and destroyed nearly 200 homes.

One of these dedicated folks is Daniel Effman, owner of Partners Deli & Arcade in Happy Camp.

When the fire began on Sept. 8, Effman began to offer free meals at the deli and then delivered free meals to people while patrolling as the vice president of the Happy Camp Neighborhood Watch.

He donated 47 meals a day until Sept. 13 and is still offering meals to anyone in need. On Saturday, he held a spaghetti feed for those in need of some comfort food.

For Effman, a member of the Karuk Tribe who moved back to Siskiyou County to live in Happy Camp 16 years ago, it is important to do his part to help his community any way he can.

More:Devastation in Happy Camp after the Slater Fire: A look at the aftermath

“I’m just doing my part,” Effman said. “There are so many people here who have stepped up and are helping out.”

This includes Marble Mountain Farms. Since those who run the farm are unable to attend markets due to the fire, they are donating the produce that would have gone to direct market sales to residents in the area who remained in town or are returning home.

The way everyone has banded together in a time of need is one of the reasons that Effman is proud to make Happy Camp his home.

“It shows we love one another here,” Effman said. “We are a community that always helps one another no matter what’s happening. We are always here to help each other.”

At his deli, a tent has been erected so people can eat outside while practicing safe social distancing while he serves them a free meal. Effman has also been providing people with other needed supplies, such as sleeping bags and toiletries.

He plans to offer free meals to people in the community as long as they are in need.

“We’ve had people here who have lost everything,” he said. “They were grateful that they got something to eat.”

Effman said he delivered food to one family who lost their home and was sleeping on the floor of a relative’s house.

“It’s been hard for so many people here,” he said. “I’ll be here for them and feed them as long as it’s needed.”