|Nguyễn Thị Hải (in the white T-shirt) with other teachers preparing meals. — Photo tienphong.vn|
HÀ TĨNH — Over the past month, Nguyễn Thị Hải, a cook at Tô Hiến Thành Primary School in Hà Tĩnh, has been busy cooking even though the students are on their summer vacation.
Hải is a volunteer chef working at the school canteen to prepare meals to deliver to local quarantine zones.
"I've been doing this work for over a month and I'm lucky to have the support of my family. I want to do my part to fight against the COVID-19 pandemic," Hải told Tiền Phong (Vanguard) newspaper.
At the start of June, in the heat of the Central Region’s summer, Hải and a number of the local teachers were busy in the small kitchen behind the school .
Every day, three other teachers from different schools take turns to cook 120-180 meals a day alongside Hải.
They have cooked more than 5,000 meals so far to serve people in isolation.
Hải said she will continue to do this work until no one in the locality has to be isolated at COVID-19 quarantine zones.
Every day, Hải wakes up at 5am and rides her motorbike to buy fresh ingredients.
She tries to find ways to reduce the cost of each meal but still to ensure meals are healthy and nutritious.
She also does her best to accommodate people's differing tastes.
"We are willing to cook porridge to serve the children if they can't eat rice, sometimes just one portion," Hải said.
Volunteers take turns delivering the food to the isolation areas. In order to better serve the people inside quarantine zones, Hải puts her phone number on each meal box so they can send her feedback about their meals.
At the end of the day Hải returns to her home and tends to her rice paddies but her day doesn’t end there.
"I do housework at night and get up early to go to the market. I try to balance both. Sometimes, I'm very tired but everyone is very encouraging," Hải said.
"Besides, it’s not just me. The teachers that volunteer in this kitchen temporarily put their housework on hold to work together to fight the pandemic. Although we are tired, we all try our best."
A number of officers and teachers from Thạch Hà District's Education and Training Department have volunteered to take part in COVID-19 prevention and control work. They have also raised VNĐ750 million (US$32,640) to support their work. — VNS