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Echoes and Mirrors» Blog Archive » Penny soup

Penny soup

Swatara Township restaurant owner feeds the unemployed

The United States welcomed John Pham in 1979 when he was a child and had moved from Vietnam to make a new life. Now Pham, owner of Ninh Kieu restaurant in Swatara Township, wants to return the favor.

“This country has been good to me,” said Pham, 40. “Now the economy here is bad. Unemployment is up. I want to give something back to my country and community.” That something is a bowl of Vietnamese soup, offered for one penny to those who have lost their job in the current economy. The beef noodle, shrimp or chicken pho (Vietnamese name for soup) is served to the unemployed all day Wednesday and from 9 to 11 a.m. and 2 to 4 p.m. Thursday.

While the motivation to do this is fantastic, I sort of disagree with the implementation. With few exceptions, it is nearly impossible to starve in this nation. There is not one homeless person in my city that goes hungry unless they choose not to shuffle down to any number of soup kitchens.

On the other hand, this is great for the unemployed who are out job-hunting and cannot afford to wait in line at a soup kitchen/shelter or only eat at a specific time. Also, Pho is awesome – I want to drive to Atlanta now.

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