A restaurant in Helsinki is trying to help more vulnerable members of the community, even as its own business is hit by the coronavirus outbreak.
Lie Mi Vietnamese Kitchen in Kamppi has seen a big downturn in customer numbers as diners increasingly stay away from restaurants in the last couple of weeks.
“It’s like a ghost town” says Manager Oona Kauhanen.
“We’re seeing some open days, some closed days. Today we are closed, but in the evening we are opening. And we’re not sure about tomorrow” she explains.
The restaurant has only been open for a few months, so the slowdown in business couldn’t have come at a worst time so soon after starting operations.
But Lie Mi’s co-owner Kimsy Poon, who moved from Hong Kong to Finland more than 20 years ago, decided to turn their misfortune into something positive by putting together 500 food parcels and arranging for them to be delivered by church volunteers to people aged over 70.
The parcels contain 12 different items including pasta, fruit, soap, coffee, eggs, pea soup, tomato sauce, tuna and chocolate; and part of the restaurant’s idea is to keep buying from their own suppliers who are also hit by the economic downturn of coronavirus.
“We were thinking about doing something, and we’re just volunteering to help out people there on their own who probably can’t get to the store” says Oona Kauhanen.
“Feeding 500 people is not much, but it’s something. Someone is going to get something to eat” she tells News Now Finland.
“We’re not expecting anything back, except maybe some good spirit.”