|A customer at the zero đồng market in Phan Thiết City. VNA/VNS Photo
BÌNH THUẬN — A recently opened 'zero đồng' market is proving to be a lifeline for residents in the southern province of Bình Thuận.
Many people struggling to make ends meet due to the pandemic have been flocking to the free store in Phan Thiết City stocking up on eggs, rice, vegetables and other essential items.
The market opened on November 17 with support from the provincial Fatherland Front Committee and the local Việt Nam Buddhist Sangha.
All the items in the market have been donated by local residents and customers visiting follow strict pandemic prevention measures.
Displays inside the store have also been spaced out to limit contact between staff and customers.
Each person was given an allocated time to shop and delivery drivers were on hand to take produce to the homes of the disabled and elderly.
Đặng Thị Thu, 65, from Xuân An Ward, said that the COVID-19 pandemic has caused problems for many families.
She said: "These essential foods not only help families overcome the current difficulties, but also show how caring the community is by helping people less fortunate."
Phan Thiết City has seen a sharp rise in COVID infections.
Since the fourth wave began at the end of April, there have been almost 5,000 new infections. The area has been declared a 'red zone' and many activities are still prevented.
Phan Thị Vi Vân, Vice Chairwoman of the provincial Fatherland Front Committee said that the "zero đồng” market was helping disadvantaged people temporarily overcome difficulties and encouraging local residents to comply with pandemic-preventive regulations during this period.
Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 again, the provincial Fatherland Front Committee has mobilised all resources to help the locality carry out pandemic preventive and social affairs work.
As well as the market, authorities are on hand to deliver other essential items to people who are struggling to leave their homes.
Phan Thị Vi Vân said with practical activities and the solidarity of the whole community, the Provincial Fatherland Front was contributing to help people to overcome difficulties and beat the COVID-19 pandemic. VNS