Street vendor gives free vegetables to low-income workers and students


Since the 2nd wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in Vietnam, our country has seen many people coming together to provide relief efforts to those in need.

For Pham Hong Minh, a street vendor in Bien Hoa, his charitable acts started long before the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. For 7 years, he’s been giving out free vegetables to low-income workers and students to help them save more money on food.


Financial losses can’t stop him from continuing his charity


Out of thousands of workers flocking out of Bien Hoa 1 Industrial Park near Saigon to go home at 4PM every afternoon, many drop by roadside stalls to buy groceries.

vendor give free vegetable_buyers
Image credit: Minh Râu

There’s one particular roadside stall that usually sees the biggest crowds – it belongs to Pham Hong Minh, a 37-year-old vegetable vendor who’s been in the profession for 11 years.

Minh has 2 vegetable stalls, one operated by his wife in an apartment building, and the other run by himself on the street near Bien Hoa 1 Industrial Park.

vendor give free vegetable_free dragonfruits
Image credit: Minh Râu

Struggling with poverty and a constant lack of food during his college years, Minh dreamed of becoming rich so he could give out free vegetables to the poor one day.

For the past 7 years, he has been giving out free vegetables and fruits to low-income workers in the industrial park and students nearby, while those who can afford them are welcome to pay.

vendor give free vegetable _Minh
Image credit: Minh Râu

“I give away free vegetables and fruits 1 to 2 days per week, sometimes 5-6 days, depending on the deals I got from my suppliers on that particular day. As long as the produce is affordable and really fresh, I’ll buy at least 100KG so I can give it to more people for free. Vegetables that come in less amount won’t help many people.” Minh shared.

However, there’re also days when Minh ends up with excess inventory and makes a big loss, but those setbacks don’t stop Minh from helping those in need.

vendor give free vegetable_buyers
Image credit: Minh Râu

Ms Lan Anh, a 40-year-old worker at Bien Hoa 1 Industrial Park shared, “He gives out free vegetables to workers almost on a daily basis. Freebies from him have helped my family save a large sum on groceries.


He encourages buyers to wear masks


vendor give free vegetable_wear masks
Minh sitting by his lineup of fresh produce and a sign that says “No masks, double the price”. Hand sanitizer is also provided for buyers to use
Image credit: Minh Râu

Not only is Minh charitable, he is also a responsible vendor as he actively enforces mask-wearing at his roadside stall.

Since the beginning of the second wave of the coronavirus, his stall has been decked out with signs that say, “No masks, double the price” and “Failure to wear masks properly means no onions for you”.

When encountering buyers who don’t wear masks, he usually offers to sell them masks priced at VND2,000 (~USD0.09) per mask, which is a dirt-cheap price in Vietnam.


Vietnamese street vendor gives free vegetables to low-income residents


Even though the price of a portion of vegetables or fruits is usually not costly, it has cost Minh a lot of effort and resources to buy them in large amounts and give them away for free for years.

Not only does Minh’s generosity help low-income workers and students have quality meals, but it also promotes unity and gives all of us more faith in humanity during the crisis. Those who wish to help him out can buy his veggies at his family’s stall at An Binh Apartment Building.

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Cover image adapted from: Minh Râu

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