Dearborn, MI: Genevieve Vang has a big heart, and she is not afraid to prove it. Vang, President/Executive Chef of Bangkok 96 Thai Restaurant in Dearborn, along with her daughter, Caroline Polly recently donated over 7,000 gluten-free Thai-inspired meals, called Thai Feast to approximately 300 veterans and military families at a veterans food distribution event, hosted by Support Siouxland Soldiers, a nonprofit located in Sioux City, Iowa. The donation was distributed to area veterans and families on May 1 at the nonprofits summer kickoff family BBQ, which included free haircuts, massages, games, prizes, free groceries, and hygiene items.
“We are honored to have the opportunity to bless those who have sacrificed their time and who put their lives on the line for our country,” said Vang. “Donating these meals was the least we can do to show our gratitude.”
Support Siouxland Soldiers worked with Vang and Polly to transport the meals to Sioux City for the distribution. Among the challenges they faced was the lack of a refrigerated food truck. After learning of the problem, the Food Bank of Siouxland provided the necessary truck for the transport for the big BBQ event on May 1.
“It was such a pleasure to work with both Support Siouxland Soldiers and the Food Bank of Siouxland to make this donation a huge success!” commented Polly. “The organizers from the food bank and Siouxland Troops were very excited when we confirmed the amount of the donation for them.
Thai Feast, a frozen, gluten-free Thai-inspired meal was created by Bangkok 96 owner Genevieve Vang to “spread hope and beauty.” Vang grew up as a child refugee during the Vietnam War and experienced the tragedy of the times first hand.
“She knows what it feels like to be hungry as a former child refugee of the Vietnam War,” explained Polly.
Today, Vang continues to help with running the restaurant while Polly manages the business and the Thai Feast brand.
“I remember making meals with my mother, one by one,” mentioned Polly. “Her love for the United States of America inspired us to grow our own business!”
Although not a veteran herself, caring for and serving our troops has a special place in Vang’s heart.
“I can remember several years ago…a Vietnam War Veteran came in telling me that…he thought my family was angry with the American veterans,” explained Polly. “I was shocked…and I told him that we actually thank the American veterans for their sacrifices to defend our homeland and to help ethnic minorities…”
Photo Caption: Volunteers from Support Siouxland Soldiers prepare to distribute over 7,000 frozen Thai Feast meals to veterans and their families who are in need. Bangkok 96 Thai Restaurant (of Dearborn) owner Genevieve Vang and her daughter, Caroline Polly donated the meals for the May 1 event in Sioux City, Iowa.