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Vietnamese pho brand in Russia offers free lunches to medical staff

Tuesday, June 02, 2020, 13:23 GMT+7
Vietnamese pho brand in Russia offers free lunches to medical staff
Vietnamese and Russian attendants prepare pho at a Phoinmoscow restaurant in Moscow, Russia. Photo: Vietnam News Agency

A Vietnamese pho restaurant chain in Moscow, Russia has decided to cook and provide free food for medical employees as physical and mental support during the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic although the business is suffering itself.

Phoinmoscow – Pham Hong Anh’s restaurant chain of pho, a Vietnamese soup consisting of broth, rice noodles, fresh herbs, and beef – is one of about 500 Vietnamese people’s catering businesses hurt by COVID-19 in Moscow.

High rental fees and fewer jobs for staff caused by the pandemic resulted in an 80-percent decline in revenue of Anh’s restaurant chain, the chain’s manager Irina told the Vietnam News Agency.

An attendant shows two bowls of Phoinmoscow’s pho. Photo: Vietnam News Agency

An attendant shows two bowls of Phoinmoscow’s pho. Photo: Vietnam News Agency

Despite the hardship, Phoinmoscow restaurants started offering 40 free lunches, each worth 300-350 rubles (US$4-5), on a daily basis to health workers on the front line of the COVID-19 epidemic in the Russian capital city in mid-May. 

Anh said that her family had covered the costs of the meals using their own money in the beginning, but as their capacity lagged behind the demand, they took to their pho business’ website at phoinmoscow.ru to call for donations from the public.

The warm response from the overseas Vietnamese community in Moscow has helped Anh increase the number of free daily lunches to 80 for doctors and nurses at eight different hospitals and medical facilities in the city.

An attendant weighs two bowls of Phoinmoscow’s pho. Photo: Vietnam News Agency

An attendant weighs two bowls of Phoinmoscow’s pho. Photo: Vietnam News Agency

Anh intends to run the free lunch charity until June 15, the date social distancing rules in Russia will expire, according to the Vietnam News Agency.

In regard to Phoinmoscow’s meals, a hospital posted a thank-you letter on its Facebook page to express the staff’s gratitude toward the donors.

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