A Goodnews exclusive.
Up until this point of the Covid-19 pandemic in Malaysia, one could observe the many effects that have taken place. There are those who have lost their jobs while businesses shut down what more due to the Enhanced Movement Control Order (EMCO) throughout Selangor. Yet, hope is not lost as the people turn to each other to help one another.
One of those actively helping those in need is a northern Vietnamese woman, known by friends, family, and patrons as Jane. The 33-year-old wife of a Malaysian and founder of the restaurant ‘Jane’s Nem Hanoi Authentic Spring Roll’ not only runs the business but has also recently opened a food bank, distributing free meals and delivering essentials to those who need it.
It all started with a message about the free daily meals that was posted on Facebook and shared on WhatsApp since 28 June, Monday.
Since then, Jane got down to preparing the free meals for distribution.
When she wasn’t cooking for free meal distributions, she got busy delivering essentials.
Speaking to Jane herself, we got to know a little bit more about her and her restaurant.
“Jane’s Nem was established on March 2020 just a few weeks right before the pandemic.”
“Before talking about Jane’s Nem I must explain a bit about myself – I’m a ‘daughter-in-law’ of Malaysia, and I moved down to KL for good in 2017. I miss my home so much, especially the food – Northern Vietnam flavours, which is hard to find in KL. Majority of the Vietnamese food here are Southern style.
“That’s why I started Jane’s Nem – Jane is my English name, ‘Nem’ is fried spring rolls in Northern Vietnamese, my favourite and my signature dish.”
Getting to know more about Jane’s food bank project, she shares, “they (the needy) are suffering day after day, the only thing they can do is pray to God, so we decided to help.”
“Even just a little contribution towards society, my second home country – I needed to do something for my husband’s motherland people.”
When asked if it was challenging to cook multiple meals a day, she shared, “Yes it is, as we are also doing our business.”
“Our business hours have been cut short from 8am to 6pm, to 8am to 3pm, so my kitchen team can have more time to prepare,” Jane adds. “All the food is cooked fresh daily, so a lot of effort needs to be put in.”
“Luckily I have an amazing team of three persons who are willing to take up the extra work to help.”
The ingredients which Jane uses to cook the free meals are bought out of her savings. According to her, she had agreed with her husband to save 5% of their profits to help the needy since the day they started Jane’s Nem. These profits go toward the free meals and essentials they are delivering daily.
Elaborating on her essentials distribution efforts, Jane shares, “My shop is on the first floor so for us to carry the goods up and down are really hardcore exercises, but we are happy to do so.”
“We also receive help from kind hearted people to help distribute to those in need,” Jane adds.
She also makes deliveries via Lalamove and Grab car, arranging trips to reach more people and save costs due to a limited budget.
“We distribute anywhere and have people who reach out to us, but we need to plan the trip, and budget for delivery and stock availability as well,“ said Jane.
For those interested in contributing to Jane’s mission, she says, “We appreciate contributions in groceries, essentials, and also cash for special goods required like baby milk powder, diapers and delivery service.”
Speaking on her hopes for Malaysians in the current ongoing pandemic, Jane shares, “I hope everyone puts their safety and society’s safety on top priority, and I hope we can overcome this pandemic together soonest.”
Kudos to Jane for her kind heart and efforts for those in need!