“Social kitchen” warms hearts during COVID-19 pandemic

(VOVWORLD) - Thousands of free meals have been served to residents under lockdown and disadvantaged people in the Central Highlands city of Buon Ma Thuot. The free meals, prepared by the volunteers of the so-called “Social Kitchen”, have been warming hearts as well as bellies.
“Social kitchen” warms hearts during COVID-19 pandemic - ảnh 1The “Social Kitchen” provides lunches to people on duty at epidemic checkpoints. 

The “Social kitchen” was established in 2015 to provide low-cost lunches to the poor. The kitchen volunteers come from Thong Nhat ward and other local social organizations and residential groups in Buon Ma Thuot city.

After the coronavirus epidemic broke out in Buon Ma Thuot, the kitchen began providing meals to people in quarantine areas and to health workers and soldiers on the frontline of the COVID-19 fight.

Ngo Thi Doan Trang, Chairwoman of the Thong Nhat ward Women’s Association and a member of the kitchen, said, “We provide lunches to people on duty at epidemic checkpoints. Thong Nhat ward authorities  subsidize meals for poor families. During the pandemic, we have been serving 100 meals a day during the week and 150 meals a day on the weekend.”

Each nutritious meal costs only about a dollar but includes soup, a main course, and fruit, which change daily and strictly comply with food safety and hygiene regulations.

Nguyen Thi Duoc of Thong Nhat ward was moved to say, “I’m in extreme financial difficulty. My husband died 10 years ago and I was left to raise four children by myself. One of them completed high school and got married. Another finished grade 7 and went to work. I still have to feed a first grader and a sixth grader.

“I used to sell fruit in the street and normally came back home at 8 or 9 p.m., but since the COVID-19 outbreak, I’ve had to stay at home. I’ve been off work for 20 days. Every day I receive a lunch subsidized by Thong Nhat ward. The food is good. The local administration’s support has eased the daily financial worries of poor people like me,” Duoc added.

Ho Thi My Le, a Buon Ma Thuot resident, was just given three hot meals for her husband, her daughter, and her.

“Both of us are disabled. My husband is handicapped in the legs and I’m blind. We used to be street vendors who sold brooms. The COVID-19 epidemic has made life difficult for almost everyone, and I’ve been moved to receive such generosity,” Le told VOV. 

“Social kitchen” warms hearts during COVID-19 pandemic - ảnh 2 “Social Kitchen” members bring meals to the poor. 

The kitchen’s 20 members and volunteers divide up the work of shopping, cooking, packaging, and delivering the meals, working in shifts to comply with social distancing rules.

70-year-old Truong Quoc Trinh, Chairman of the Thong Nhat ward Red Cross Society, has been with the kitchen since it began.

“During the pandemic, we have provided hundreds of meals to people working at epidemic checkpoints. My wife and I are old but still eager to participate in charitable activities,” Trinh said.