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Saigon restaurant cooks 2,000 meals per day for the needy

By Quynh Tran   June 19, 2021 | 09:46 pm PT
A restaurant in Saigon's District 1 has been cooking around 2,000 meals every day and giving them free to people severely hit by the new Covid-19 outbreak.
Since May 31, when HCMC enter a semi-lockdown to contain the spreading novel coronavirus, Ngo My Dungs restaurant on Tran Hung Dao Street has halted welcoming patrons. But the kitchen has never stopped working, as Dung and her staff have cooked and distributed free meals to the poor in the southern metropolis.On June 18, they prepare vegetables and beef to make stewed beef. Over the last two weeks, they start their charitable work at 6:30 a.m. and finish it in the evening, giving out 2,000 meals per day.

Since May 31, 2021, when HCMC entered a semi-lockdown phase to contain the novel coronavirus, Ngo My Dung's restaurant on Tran Hung Dao Street has stopped welcoming patrons. But the kitchen has never stopped working, as Dung and her staff began cooking and distributing free meals to the poor.
The staff prepare vegetables and beef to make stewed beef. Over the last two weeks, they have started their work at 6:30 a.m. and finished in the evening, giving out 2,000 meals per day.

In the 350-meter-square restaurant, a dozen employees are busy dividing meals and bread into portions before bringing them to quarantined areas and poor neighborhoods.I spend around VND35 million buying ingredients and cooking every day. The restaurant is closed, but I can handle this situation, so I want to support poor people, Dung said.

At the 350 square meter restaurant, a dozen employees are busy dividing meals and bread into portions before delivering them in quarantined areas and poor neighborhoods.
"I spend around VND35 million buying ingredients and cooking every day. The restaurant is closed, but I can handle this situation, so I want to support poor people," Dung said.

Meals are cooked from clean ingredients supported by many donators, she said, adding cooks in her restaurant prepare the meals themselves.Dishes are changed every day, from rice, noodles, to stewed beef and vegetarian food

"The meals are cooked from clean ingredients whose procurement is supported by many donors," she said, adding the cooks in her restaurant prepare the meals themselves.
Dishes are changed every day, from rice to noodles to stewed beef and vegetarian food.

The restaurant distributes food at 5 p.m. every day, on the pavement of Tran Hung Dao Street and 12 locations in town, most of which are locked down neighborhoods.

The restaurant distributes food at 5 p.m. every day, on the pavement of Tran Hung Dao Street and 12 other locations in town, most of which are in locked down neighborhoods.

My incomes have shrunk over the last month, I cannot sell 100 lottery tickets per day, so having a free meal means a lot, said Mai, a disabled woman who was prioritized to receive the meal on June 18.

"My income has shrunk over the last month, I cannot sell 100 lottery tickets per day, so having a free meal means a lot," said Mai, a disabled woman who was prioritized to receive the meal on June 18, 2021.

Tu, an ice cream vendor, is thrilled to have a free meal that can help him save VND25,000.

Tu, a cycling ice cream vendor, is thrilled to have a free meal that can help him save VND25,000 ($1.08).

Hong Phuc receives a meal for his mom, a trash collector.

Hong Phuc receives a meal for his mom, a trash collector.

In the last two weeks, employees at Ward 10s People Committee in District 10 come to Dungs restaurant every afternoon to receive more than 200 meals for quarantined residents in the district. We do not have enough people and time, so we support (the restaurant) with food and rice, a representative of the ward said.

Over the last two weeks, employees at the Ward 10 People Committee in District 10 come to Dung's restaurant every afternoon to receive more than 200 meals for quarantined residents in the district.
"We do not have enough people and time, so we support (the restaurant) with food and rice," a representative of the ward said.

Four kilometers from the restaurant, stewed beef is taken to those living in Phan Van Tri residential building in Go Vap District, which is under lockdown.

Four kilometers from the restaurant, stewed beef packages are taken to those living in the Phan Van Tri residential building in Go Vap District, which has been placed under a lockdown.
As of Sunday morning, HCMC has become the second worst-hit locality in the ongoing Covid wave, with 1,527 new cases since April 27, 2021. The city has suspended traditional and ride-hailing taxi services, public buses and inter-provincial buses as a preventive measure against the spread of Covid-19.

 
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