Sa Ba Street Food Tours has been donating food to the under-served community of Yangon downtown areas together with volunteers at Food Not Bombs Myanmar. With the contributions from well-wishers here and there, the volunteers pay the out-of-work street food vendors to cook. The food is then donated to people who need it.

We had a chance to e-interview Marc Shortt, the founder of Sa Ba, about their work.

Since when you’re donating food for the under-served communities?

We started Sunday for the first time and will do it multiple times a week as long as we have the donations and volunteers.

How many townships have you been?

For now we are focusing on downtown because that is where we normally run our food tours and know those areas well.

Who do you work with to donate food?

We are collecting donations to pay street vendors to cook 100 portions and together with fruits and water we give it away for free to people who need it. We pay trishaw riders to take it around. The organisation Food Not Bombs are experienced in distributing food to the needy so we are collaborating with them. We are all volunteers doing this. Some businesses like Zero Plastic have provided us with food packaging for free.

Any interesting story on the street you’d like to share?

It can be about people you saw during donation tours, street food vendors or volunteers. Some people said we might not find 100 people in downtown who need a food donation. Sadly they were too easy to find. Many homeless children having to find food in bins, it was difficult to see. But also we’re so happy to see the joy on their faces when they are given a meal. We want them to know they’ve not been forgotten during these crazy times.

How’s Sa Ba doing during this pandemic?

Our regular tours and cooking lessons are on hold for now until tourism recovers. Now is time to work together and focus so all our businesses and communities can pass through the other side of COVID-19, emerge stronger, kinder and welcome back tourists to a fresh Yangon.

Plans for the future?

Looking forward to getting back to normal but also hoping that even after COVID-19 this project can continue to support the vulnerable with food.


You can donate here.

People Helping People is an ongoing series about the individuals and organisations who are doing their best to make everyone’s life a bit easier during this testing time. Stay tuned for more!


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