Makeshift free food store in Ho Chi Minh City

A major reason for Vietnam’s outstanding performance in the fight against COVID-19 has been the social unity of its citizens. We know that we have talked about it a lot of late, with all the charitable acts that Vietnamese people are carrying out to help their fellow countrymen.

However, there is no such thing as too much good news, and no good deed should go unnoticed, so here comes another story of a Vietnamese charity organization in Hồ Chí Minh City that opened a makeshift food store to help the disadvantaged for free. It even has a delivery crew to bring meals to those who need them.

Free food for the disadvantaged

A restaurant temporarily shut down during the pandemic has now been turned into a makeshift food store

Image credit: Food Bank Vietnam

Since yesterday, volunteers of Food Bank Vietnam, a charity organization, have been operating a makeshift food store at 100 Ung Văn Khiêm Str., Bình Thạnh District to give away free food for people in need.

The venue is actually a restaurant whose business has been halted by COVID-19. Mr. Nguyễn Tuấn Khởi, Director of Food Bank, told VNExpress that they were able to mobilize the resources to establish a charity food store, but didn’t have a venue to cook and distribute the food. When the government ordered the shutdown of non-essential businesses, he came up with the idea of borrowing venues from temporarily closed restaurants.

He also shared that the term “makeshift” describes the nature of the project perfectly. “All we have to do is bringing the food here to cook. If we need to move to another place, it’ll only take 5 minutes to clean up,” he said.

Delivered by volunteers

The food is delivered to recipients by volunteers

Image credit: Food Bank Vietnam

To ensure social distancing, the food store keeps on-site food giveaways to a minimum. Instead, a group of volunteers will bring the food to poor neighborhoods and hospitals in the area to distribute.

They also came to GrabBike drivers in the area to ask for their help. If the drivers are up for it, they can come by to pick up the food and deliver to people in need.

“The drivers know the area and its people well. They’ll help make sure that the food reaches people who really need it,” Mr. Khởi said.

After the first day of operation, the makeshift food store has received help from several parties and has managed to distribute hundreds of portions of food. Each portion includes rice, vegetables, meat, and soup, and is worth roughly VND25,000 (~USD1.06).

All charitable acts deserve recognition

We need to give a shoutout to Food Bank Vietnam for its good deed during these tough times. Acts like these can result in a ripple effect that can change the life of thousands of people for the better.

For more COVID-19 stories, check out:

Cover image adapted from Food Bank Vietnam

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