Vietnam sets up free “Rice ATMs” to help those in need amid COVID-19

11:41 | 23/04/2020 Society

Rice ATMs have popped up all over Vietnam, an idea created by entrepreneur Hoang Tuan Anh, in Ho Chi Minh City.

vietnam sets up free rice atms to help those in need amid covid 19
Donated rice for “Rice ATMs,” Hanoi, Vietnam - Photo: Cindy Nguyen

After the Vietnamese government started a nationwide social distancing campaign to restrict the spread of the coronavirus disease, many people lost their jobs and are struggling to pay for food.

Hoang decided to lend those in need a hand. His idea has received a lot of support from the community.

Hoang’s rice machine has inspired many similar initiatives nationwide to support underprivileged people during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Nguyen Manh Hung, director of Thai Ha Books company, has sponsored the installation of a rice machine in Hanoi.

vietnam sets up free rice atms to help those in need amid covid 19

People lining up to get free rice are required to keep a minimum distance of two metres from each other in the queue.

Clear instructions for how to operate free rice ATMs are provided.

Volunteers show people how to push the lever on the ground which prompts the rice ATM to fill up their bags. People are required to wear face masks and bring their own bags to avoid dumping plastic waste. Those who don’t bring bags will be given paper bags .

Each person is given 3kg of rice per visit.

Pre-filled 3kg paper bags are also available, so no one has to wait in the line for too long.

Cindy Nguyen