Jesuit Social Apostolate Office’s Emergency Food Program Helps the Poor in Saigon

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Hochiminh City, one of Vietnam’s biggest cities, was hit by a fourth wave of COVID-19 infections in the late April. The city recorded 166 local transmitted cases, the highest daily total since on Monday 21 June 2021, the highest daily total since the start of the outbreak.
Chinh Tran, SJ

Chinh Tran, SJ

AMDG

Recently, the city’s officials have extended social distancing measures for a further 15 days in an effort to curb the spread of COVID-19 in the community.

Fr. Peter Truong Van Phuc, SJ, and His Social Apostolate Office coordinated with Caritas groups of 32 parishes, Caritas offices of 23 congregations and societies of apostolic life in Saigon Archdiocese, to initiate the COVID-19 Emergency Food Program to provide material aid for low-income households, especially migrants and unemployed people, affected by the epidemic.

From the beginning of June, the program has received much support and donation (around 36,200 USD) from individuals to help the needy during the pandemic. 62,1 tons of rice and 20 tons of sweet potatoes were offered to thousands of people in Go Vap, Tan Binh, Hoc Mon, and Thu Duc.

In a letter posted on his Facebook, Fr. Phuc expressed his sincere gratitude to benefactors for their support as well as to scholastics of St. Joseph Jesuit Scholasticate, who usually helped him to upload rice and sweet potatoes bags from cargo trucks and relocate them in the storage of the Province Curia at midnights. The director of the Vietnamese Jesuit Social Apostolate Office also acknowledged and thanked truck drivers and delivery tricycle drivers for their generous support and collaboration.

“Many low-income families are consoled and supported during this hard time by many benefactors through various ways. They have experienced the joy of sharing and solidarity. May God bless our friends, benefactors, volunteers and collaborators who have helped us,” Fr. Phuc said.

Last year, the Vietnamese Jesuits lived out the solidarity to the poor by many ways, such as giving trustworthy guidance on how to avoid affection of COVID-19; providing more than 16,000 face masks and 450 liters of sanitizers to people in quarantine areas of Vinh Phuc and Ben Tre provinces; visiting and providing rice and food for poor families in Thu Duc district, Ho Chi Minh City; hearing confession to individuals and small groups; saying online masses, etc.

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