A gathering and cooking fundraiser for flood victims in central Vietnam sold out within hours and raised close to $5,200 at the Taste of Saigon Sunday.

Several residents of Vietnamese heritage, affiliated with the informal Yellowknife Vietnamese Association, greeted Yellowknifers with traditional cuisine from the south Asian country packaged for pickup.

Members of the Yellowknife Vietnamese community gathered on Sunday to cook and sell Vietnamese food to help raise money for victims of flooding in central Vietnam. Front row, from left, Miley Dang, Han Doan, Trang Phan, Loan Le and Phuong Nguyen. Middle row from left, Chau Tu, Thuy Khue, Hung Ma, Uyen Tran, Long Huynh, Myhanh Ma and Vi Le. In back are Maggie Huynh and Kim Tran.

Last week, Typhoon Molave one of the largest storms seen in the area in decades slammed into central Vietnam, causing floods, landslides and a mass migration of displaced people.

More than 50 people have been buried in landslides caused by the storm and monsoon season had contributed to extensive flooding in the region earlier in the month, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies stated recently.

Millions more have seen threats to their food crops, drinking water and other basic necessities.

The Vietnamese cuisine in Yellowknife was sold out in two hours as more than 200 people showed up. Because of Covid-19 restrictions, takeout was the only option for the event and a limited number of buyers were allowed inside the restaurant at a time.

“The flood, they have said, has been ranged at level nine, which is one of the highest levels ever,” said Maggie Huynh, following the event. “So, basically, it is wiping out literally the whole province. That’s why we here for the family get together and everyone has put in the effort to cook. And that’s why you see all the food here.”

Huynh said that $5,200 may appear to be a modest sum, but every bit counts.

“The amount is probably not much compared to what other flood victims are facing, but at least it helps provides some necessities for those people that got affected by the flood,” she said.

Huynh estimates there are likely around 150 people of Vietnamese origin in the city. Although small and without a formal organization, the Vietnamese community has a long history in Yellowknife stretching back to at lease the 1970s.

Much of the food at a central Vietnam flooding fundraiser was sold in about two hours at Taste of Saigon on Sunday.
photo sourced from Taste of Saigon

Huynh explained that the money will be forwarded to the Truc Lam Buddhist Monastery in Edmonton, which is gathering funds for victims.

“Because the place has seen so much damage, we contribute in what we can,” explained Trang Phan, one of the cooks and volunteers. “We want to let them know that, even in a small community like ours, we are be able to support them in a place that is far away.”

Although there weren’t additional events planned as of Sunday evening, both Huynh and Phan said fundraising efforts will be ongoing and that anyone in Yellowknife willing to contribute can still do so.

“We are also accepting money transfer or cash to support people back home, not only from the food (fundraiser),” Phan said. “So if anyone has a generous heart, they can just contact us and we can put that money in place to make sure all those flood victims receive something from here.”

Simon Whitehouse

Simon Whitehouse came to Yellowknife to work with Northern News Services in 2011. Simon obtained his journalism education at Algonquin College and the University of Ottawa. Simon can be reached at...

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