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Unique Pay-What-You-Want Restaurant in Da Nang

The menu changes daily so that people don’t get bored at the Compassionate Rice Restaurant. Each meal consists of 4 – 5 dishes of meat, fish, and vegetables.

For nearly a year now, regularly on Tuesday, Saturday, and full moon days, the Compassionate Rice Restaurant (also known as the 2,000 VND restaurant) of the Compassion Volunteer Club has been ablaze with the mission of providing loving meals to those facing difficult life circumstances. The restaurant is located at 61 Thanh Nghi (Lien Chieu District, Da Nang City) with the desire to share with those less fortunate, carrying the burdens of their families…

2,000 VND “”””buying love””””

At noon, under the scorching sun of Central Vietnam, 70-year-old Mrs. Nguyen Thi Luan (residing in Hoa Minh Ward, Lien Chieu District) with a thin figure, rides her old bicycle with some collected plastic bottles hanging behind. She parks it on the opposite sidewalk of the Compassionate Rice Restaurant. Sweating profusely, she prepares a 2,000 VND bill to “”””buy”””” a hot meal that the volunteers have prepared.

Receiving the meal tray, Mrs. Luan smiles: “”””Today’s meal is delicious, with many dishes like grilled ribs, fried eggs, sautéed vegetables, and soup. Every week, I am nourished like this, and I have the energy to earn money to support my grandchildren’s education…””””

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The Compassionate Rice Restaurant supports those in difficult circumstances.

Mrs. Luan shares that she is currently raising two young grandchildren who are in the 5th and 9th grades because their parents have divorced. To make ends meet and support her grandchildren, she collects recyclable materials from alleys in Lien Chieu District every day. She only earns 50,000-100,000 VND per day, so she has to be frugal.

“”””I learned about the Compassionate Rice Restaurant two months ago from a fellow resident. Since then, I often come here for lunch, and with just 2,000 VND, I can get a nutritious meal.

The restaurant is named Compassionate, so when I eat here, I feel warm, like family, because the volunteers are very friendly and caring,”””” Mrs. Luan is touched.

In a similar situation, having come from Quang Ngai to Da Nang to collect recyclables and send money back home to support her family, 60-year-old Mrs. Tran Thi Tiep also frequently comes to the restaurant for lunch, allowing her to save money to send home.

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The restaurant maintains two meals a week, providing delicious and nutritious meals to lottery ticket sellers and recyclable material collectors…

Mrs. Tiep confides: “”””At first, when I heard that 2,000 VND could buy a meal, I didn’t believe it much, but when I came to the restaurant, I was very moved. It feels like coming home, being cared for… That’s why I and people in difficult circumstances hope that these affordable food spots will be maintained to help the poor!””””

The Compassionate Restaurant serves an average of about 150 people in difficult circumstances like Mrs. Luan and Mrs. Tiep at each meal. Each person has their own circumstances, and they all work hard to support their families. Here, by spending just 2,000 VND, they can have a satisfying meal and a happy smile.

9 years of giving, receiving many helping hands

Ms. Nguyen Thi Hong Hoa (49 years old, residing in Hoa Minh Ward, Lien Chieu District), the head of the Dong Cam Volunteer Club, shares that the 2,000 VND (approximately 9 cents) meal place has been sustained for nearly a year now with the desire to contribute a small part to ensure that those facing difficulties can have delicious and nutritious meals.

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The menu is constantly changed to ensure variety.

“”””Our club, established for 9 years, regularly cooks mobile meals for free at hospitals and distributes charity gifts. Seeing many difficult situations that require assistance, the group members decided to open a fixed 2,000 VND meal place, serving on Tuesdays, Saturdays, and full-moon days to contribute a small part to help everyone,”””” Ms. Hoa expressed.

On cooking days, the group members organize their tasks, with each person cooking different dishes to serve the customers. When the place opens, it attracts a large number of customers. Each person only needs to pay 2,000 VND (about 9 cents) with a smile to get their meal,”””” Ms. Hoa added.

Explaining why it’s 2,000 VND and not free, she said: “”””Charging 2,000 VND per meal is to ensure that everyone doesn’t feel indebted and isn’t hesitant when they come to eat. People pay, and we have the responsibility to provide courteous service. This way, everyone feels more comfortable.””””

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Volunteers from the charity group participate in kitchen support.

The menu is changed daily to prevent people from getting bored. Each meal consists of 4 – 5 dishes including meat, fish, and vegetables, thanks to the participation of many enthusiastic volunteers.

“”””Since the opening day, we have organized our work and household chores, and together we participate in cooking. Each person contributes a little, and many enthusiastic volunteers, knowing about the place through social media, have sent donations and joined hands with the place,”””” she shared.

For us, the profit from running the place is primarily to provide hearty meals for hardworking people struggling to make a living. With the support of these enthusiastic volunteers, we will maintain the place to receive more happy smiles,”””” Ms. Hoa concluded.


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