​Young Vietnamese woman offers free ‘banh mi’ to low income workers

For one young Da Nang City resident, Sunday mornings are a time for giving back to the community by providing fresh Vietnamese banh mi sandwiches for local low income workers. Ha Tran Tieu My, 23, has spent the past year familiarizing herself with the faces of her neighborhood’s workers and elderly residents thanks to her free Sunday morning street-side banh mi stand. As early as 6 a.m., senior citizens, lottery ticket sellers, motorbike taxi drivers, and street peddlers shouldering a bamboo pole yoked with baskets of good on either end make their weekly pilgrimage to My’s glass-sided stand to sample one of the 150 pre-prepared sandwiches awaiting the neighborhood’s needy. For aged late-comers living in the labyrinth of back alleys nearby the stand are hand-delivered the weekly meal by My and her partners at the Han River Charity. The banh mi, worth approximately VND10,000 (nearly $0.5) a piece, taste well-above their value, according to the praise received from locals for its taste and the hygienic conditions in which the food is prepared. “Her banh mi are stuffed with pork and slices of cha [pork ham], and they are seasoned to my taste,” said Pham Thi Tuyet, a local lottery ticket seller. Banh mi is just one of the meals served up by My.  On rainy days, banh bao (steamed pork buns) or banh beo (steamed rice pancakes) make it on the menu.  Each dish is also adjusted for taste after feedback from her ‘customers.’ Rain or shine, she and her… [Read full story]


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