Vietnamese Pho
Volunteer at Food Shop NGO in Vietnam
Providing low cost, healthy meals to vulnerable locals in need

Providing low cost, healthy meals to vulnerable locals in need

Food preparation in Vietnam
Food Preparation
Volunteers preparing food for the under privileged

Volunteers preparing food for the under privileged

Vietnamese fresh vegetables and spices
Fresh Simple Food
Experience Vietnamese cuisine, simple and tasty

Experience Vietnamese cuisine, simple and tasty

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“Fill your heart……and their plate!”

You will be contributing your efforts at The Smile Food Shop, where your task may include food preparation, serving and clean-up, as you bring smiles and affordable hot meals for all who need it.

Established in 2012, The Smile Food shop was opened to help people by providing low cost lunches for only 2000 VND per meal (about 10 cents). The shop is run by a NGO together with passionate locals and your efforts will be greatly appreciated as well.

In this program you will help to prepare lunches and serve these meals to a group of around 500 people (elderly, local workers, person with disabilities, students and children) who come for low cost, good quality and well prepared meals each day!

This program is likely to be one of the most challenging, engaging and, at times, one of the most exhausting things you have ever done, where you loved every minute of it!

Please be advised that the Food Shop program continues to function even when the NGO run facility is closed (including a month long closure around the Tet Holiday). During those periods, Food Shop participants will prepare food on-site at our accommodation kitchen and those free meals will be distributed at a local hospital to patients and local workers.


  • Generate income so that the people of Ho Chi Minh can continue to be provided with hygienic, healthy food at a low cost
  • Give you practical experience in the kitchen and an insight into food preparation
  • Assist the local staff with extra hands at the food shop


Volunteer experiences have a direct and positive impact on local communities by injecting money into the local economy through the purchase of food, transportation, and tourism activities. Volunteering is a great way to give back to the comunity and make a difference in the world. Depending on the type of volunteer experience you are interested in, your time can be spent improving educational resources and opportunities, providing medical services to underserved communities, or promoting environmental conservation and sustainable farming techniques.

One Tree Planted logo

25 trees will be planted on your behalf for every experience purchased, via our partnership with One Tree Planted.

See more at

1% for the planetlogo

1% of gross sales will be donated to 1% for the Planet-approved charities via our partnership with 1% for the Planet.

See more at

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Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam
Ho Chi Minh City, commonly known as Saigon, is located in the southeastern region of Vietnam and is the country’s largest city. During your stay, you will be living in a dorm on college campus right in the center of the city.
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Saturday/Sunday - Arrival
Arrive at SGN (Tan Son Nhat International Airport) on Saturday or Sunday between 06:00 - 22:00 to be met upon landing by our team. Flight arrivals after 22:00 will incur an additional fee for pickup. Saturday arrivals need to book one extra night at our accommodation.
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Monday - Friday
  • Breakfast
  • Depart for the food shop
  • Assist in the preparation of food, working in the kitchen, cleaning the area and serving food, etc.
  • Lunch at the foodshop
  • Head back to the accommodation
  • Free time during the afternoon
  • Dinner

This program is relocated during periods/holidays when the NGO facility is closed and meals prepared by participants are then distributed at a local hospital

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Saturday - Departure
Leave the accommodation Saturday morning. Take a taxi to the airport (30 mins) for earliest flights Saturday midday
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  • Shared Accomodation
  • All meals included
  • Free beverages
  • Wifi in public areas
  • Arrival Transfer (included with 2 wk+ trips)
  • Departure Transfer
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  • Extra night accomodation (before experience)$60
  • Extra night accomodation (after experience)$60
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More Information


  • minimum english levelBasic
  • CRB RequiredOn signup
  • passport copy requiredNo
  • resume copy requiredNo

Other Requirements

  • There are no further requirements for this program.


Basic Vietnamese meals are provided on campus. Food include some western dishes such as sandwiches, spaghetti and bread.


The accommodation is located on a campus in a college dorm. As such, it follows certain campus rules such as a night curfew.

We also have a room reserved as an “office”, where you can go to if you want some peace and quiet. We have books and magazines available here for you to borrow.

There is the nice local café next to our dorm. A beautiful and peaceful place where you can enjoy fresh juices, snacks etc..

Cancellation Policy

Bookings can be amended and cancelled 30 days before the program start date without any costs. Bookings that are cancelled less than 30 days before the program start date will be charged the first week of the booking.

Volunteer at Food Shop NGO in Vietnam

Price per person$370/week
Minimum Duration1 week