|Members of Thiện Tâm (Tranquil Mind) group prepare lunchboxes before delivering them to those in need in central Thừa Thiên – Huế Province. — VNA/VNS Photo Tường Vi
THỪA THIÊN HUẾ — A lunch box or a loaf of bread costs very little, but it brings great sentimental value for COVID-19 patients and those severely affected by the pandemic.
In central Thừa Thiên – Huế Province, many dignitaries such as bishops, priests and religious leaders have rolled up their sleeves to bring nutritious meals to people in difficult circumstances, especially those in quarantine or locked down areas.
A warm lunchbox with fish, pork, vegetable, broth or a loaf of fresh bread with toppings has helped those in need overcome hardships and spread good deeds in the community.
In the cold weather of the last days of the year, members of Thiện Tâm (Tranquil Mind) group are busy putting food into boxes, which will be delivered to those in difficult circumstances, migrant labourers and patients being treated at Kim Long Health Clinic of the Archdiocese of Huế.
The group was founded by Father Lê Văn Hồng accompanying the sisters of the Congregation of the Daughters of Our Lady of the Visitation. The group, with 17 members, have given thousands of meals to those in need for the past six months.
Every Tuesday and Friday, the group cooks and distributes lunchboxes free of charge. The work starts at 6am, including going to the market for fresh produce, processing and cooking food, wrapping it up and loading the meals into a car for delivery. Each portion of rice includes fish, meat, vegetables, soup, fruit and a bottle of water.
Sister Huỳnh Thị Thành, a group member, said the group used to distribute lunchboxes at No 6 Hà Nội Street in Huế City, but they decided to bring meals to COVID-19 patients when the pandemic worsened.
Thành said she as well as other members were volunteers to give a helping hand. The members spent their money to buy food, used their car to deliver meals, and did all the preparatory work.
The group received phone calls from some people who wanted to contribute rice and vegetables, she said.
On average, the group prepares about 200 meals free of charge per day. It also sells rice at a cost of VNĐ5,000 per box.
Nguyễn Thị Phượng Liên, another group member, said they collected a small amount of money so that people would feel more comfortable when receiving the lunchbox. The money would be used to buy food for the future.
Father Lê Văn Hồng said the group was founded when Archbishop Joseph Nguyễn Chí Linh, President of the Vietnamese Bishops' Conference, Archbishop of Huế Diocese, called upon Catholics in the province to help support people in HCM City during the pandemic.
|Lunchboxes are delivered to those in difficult circumstances, migrant labourers and patients being treated at Kim Long Health Clinic of the Archdiocese of Huế.
Initially, the group made lemongrass salted shredded meat, stewed fish and donated necessities to send to the city.
After that, everyone in the group discussed and together cooked and distributed free lunchboxes to poor people and COVID-19 patients in the province as a lot of people were having a hard time, especially the elderly and migrant labourers who have lost their jobs.
Zero dong loaves of bread
Inside the premises of Kim Long Health Clinic of the Archdiocese of Huế, which has been used to treat COVID-19 patients, there is a stall offering bread free of charge.
The stall was the initiative of the Sisters of Saint Paul in Huế City, with support from the Hồng An Bakery of Phú Hậu Parish. On average, the stall provides 200 loaves of bread with pork to COVID-19 patients and their family members each day from Monday to Saturday.
Hồng An Bakery is located on the premises of Phú Hậu Church and was built by Priest Nguyễn Thiện Nhân, parish priest of Phú Hậu in early 2019. Father Nhân and his people in Phú Hậu parish take turns making the bread.
Father Nhân said every day the bakery provides about 500 loaves of bread for free to patients and families in difficult circumstances in the city.
Phú Hậu Parish also supplied about 1,200 loaves of bread per day for poor people in isolation areas or COVID-19 patients at local field hospitals.
The people also worked with the government to provide medicine, face masks, antibacterial hand wash and donated nearly 10 tonnes of food to families who were struggling due to the impact of the pandemic. — VNS