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Vietnamese restaurant hosts baby formula drive in Grand Rapids

PHO 616

Individuals can donate or pick up baby formula at Pho 616 inside Grand Rapids Downtown Market.

In between feeding customers at his restaurant Pho 616, owner Ty Nguyen is doing his part to battle the baby formula shortage.

“At the end of the day we just want to make sure every child is fed, because a child should never go hungry ever,” he said.

Nguyen is hosting a baby formula drive at his Vietnamese shop, tucked inside Grand Rapids’ Downtown Market. He’s asking individuals to purchase and donate formula cans, which he will distribute free to the community.

Nguyen admitted, until recently he didn’t realize how much of a struggle finding formula has been for parents, but explained a trip to the store with an old military buddy, threw it into perspective.

“He was struggling to find formula for his daughter to eat…He drove from Battle Creek to Grand Rapids, and I was like oh my god let me go help and stuff,” Nguyen said, “and that was sort of the inspiration.”

Nguyen said the drive isn’t trying to add to the already fierce competition in grocery aisles. It’s working to create a downtown location where parents hitting financial struggles can find formula at no cost.

“With gas prices now a days you’re wasting gas looking for formula rather than a central location like us,” he explained. “We had a delivery driver that came in she was a young mother and it just hit me hard…

Pho 616 will house both donation drop offs and pick ups. Updates on formula brands available will be listed on the restaurant’s social media pages. Nguyen says he hopes to pass formula out as quickly as it comes in.

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