Generations of students in Hanoi have provided free meals to disadvantaged people for nearly ten years.
These meals come from leftovers from restaurants, hotels, and households.
“Every day, leftover food in families’ refrigerators or restaurants is often thrown away," said Pham Thu Uyen, an eleventh-grade student from Amsterdam High School in Hanoi, operator of Hanoi Food Rescue Season 10.
"Realizing this issue, we started our project."
'Food Rescue' mission keeps going on
Beginning as a result of a contest hosted by a university, the Hanoi Food Rescue project is already in its tenth year.
The group consists of more than 40 students from high schools in Hanoi.
From Friday to Monday every week, they collect leftovers from restaurants, hotels, and canteens, which they contact and ask for permission to provide leftover food for the needy.
Uyen said the remnants are still fresh so it is such a waste to throw them away.
Therefore, these young people proactively contact hotels, restaurants, and canteens around the capital city to collect leftover food to prepare meals for poor patients and those in need.
In addition, such food is contained in eco-friendly boxes.
Once a part of the project, each member has realized that they have to do something to save food and increase community awareness of the issue, Uyen added.
Recalling a trip to a vocational training center for disabled children to give them food, students from the project talked to and encouraged the kids.
After trips like that, Uyen and her friends found out there are so many people in need of food while they have full meals every day but waste food sometimes.
After the fourth COVID-19 outbreak that hit the country last April, the project has restarted.
More than meals
Aside from giving food to the disadvantaged, the Hanoi Food Rescue aims to raise community awareness of food waste by hosting two annual programs Tet (Lunar New Year) Donation and The Hunger Games.
For the Tet Donation, the group calls on people to donate food, clothes, and books to the poor kids.
During the pandemic, everyone could register to donate through an online form and the organizers went to registered addresses to get the donated items.
Moreover, the group also hosted a garage sale to fundraise for the charity event at Sword Lake Pedestrian Street. Each item sold was a gift for disadvantaged children.
Through the program, more than 3.5 metric tons of food, candies, clothes, books, and notebooks were given to the poor students at Tan Son 1 Elementary School in Luc Ngan District, Bac Giang Province, 50km east of Hanoi, according to Uyen.
The group also 'rescued' agricultural products stuck at border gates.
Besides, they have called for donations to those who lost their jobs, or who lack food or medicine, because of severe COVID-19 outbreaks.
Ngo Ha Chau, founder of Hanoi Food Rescue, is proud of the students who continue her project.
“They have completed their mission very well, not only running but also expanding the project,” Chau said.
“I expect that they will further expand the project but whatever they do, they should not forget the key purpose of providing food to the needy in Hanoi and more people."
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