Aug 06, 2021 / 09:58

Out of sight, not out of mind

Despite living in isolated areas during this severe period of the Covid-19 pandemic, people can still enjoy good meals and have peace of mind, thanks to the efforts of thousands of volunteers citywide.

In these fierce days of battling the Covid-19 pandemic all over Hanoi, teachers of Kindergarten Binh Minh 1, Thanh Oai District, volunteer to cook meals for the task force and people in concentrated quarantine camps.

Teachers from Kindergarten Binh Minh 1, Thanh Oai District are preparing meals for people who are undergoing concentrated quarantine time in Hanoi. Photo: Ngoc Anh

Cooking with the heart

When the school was commissioned to provide food for the isolated area, which is set up at Binh Minh Secondary School from the district’s Department of Education and Training, its teachers all accepted without reticence, according to Nguyen Thi Ly, Principal of Kindergarten Binh Minh 1. Being located next to the quarantine camp and with a kitchen available, the school is able to ensure food safety and hygiene conditions for the meals.

The cooking team consists of 10 people who are teachers and cooks of the school. Each is assigned for different tasks such as ordering food, processing, cooking, and cleaning. Every day from 5am, they prepare breakfast for people in the isolated area. Around 7.30 am, they start making meals for lunch.

“The menu usually consists of five dishes, in which the main dish is pork, chicken or fish along with vegetables and soup. It is also changed regularly so that everyone can enjoy various food at VND80,000 (US$3.5)/person/day funded by local budget. There is also nutritious porridge for children,” Ly said.

These meals are always guaranteed in terms of hygiene and food safety. 

She also added that the school is currently providing meals for more than 130 people in the isolated area. The work has been carried out smoothly, thanks to the wholehearted contribution of the teachers and the school’s kitchen facilities. As a result, meals are always prepared and delivered on time at 11:30am for lunch and at 6pm for dinner.

Not only the teachers but also some parents of the school’s students also volunteered to cook for the quarantined people. Some teachers, who live far away and are unable to join this work, have sent fruit to enrich the meal. The district’s health center also supports delivery transportation to ensure safety and convenience.

“We uphold the volunteering spirit with the heart and expect that delicious meals help functional forces there perform their duties as well as make others feel secure while being quarantined. Despite working since early in the morning and in hot weather, all the volunteers are happy to contribute their part to combat the pandemic. It is a great encouragement for us when we receive the thankful message from them after the meal,” Ly told The Hanoi Times.

The local authorities take strict measures to ensure the safety and convenience of meals delivery.

Warm and meaningful support

Senior Colonel Tran Dinh Thanh, Deputy Commander of the Military Command of Thanh Oai District told The Hanoi Times: “The well-prepared meals give us more motivation to complete the task. We are really touched by the warm heart of the teachers. Meals are delicious and always served on time. This is very important because it ensures us both health and peace of mind to fight in this fierce battle.”

Having joined the quarantine area since July 30, Do Xuan Hoa said that “When I first came here, I was worried a lot because my wife and I brought two small children (2.5 years old and seven months old) with us. However, everything is fine, thanks to the timely and nutritious meals and support from the officers and soldiers here. If we need something, they help us get it as soon as possible.”

"More than the delicious meals, it is the warm hearts of officials, teachers, and staff of the local education sector to share some of the difficulties with people in the isolated area that are worth praising," according to Doan Viet Dung, Head of the district’s Education and Training Department.

“Cooking and delivering meals for the isolated area is a meaningful work of officials, teachers, and staff of Kindergarten Binh Minh 1, contributing to the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic. I call on organizations and individuals to participate in providing necessities to share and encourage the forces and people in the isolated area, contributing to helping Vietnam fight against the pandemic,” Chairman of Thanh Oai District People’s Committee Bui Van Sang.