S. Korean volunteers make kimchi to help poor


SEOUL, Nov. 15 — Thousands wearing aprons and hair nets crowded outside Seoul’s City Hall on Thursday to make kimchi, the spicy fermented cabbage that is South Korea’s best-known dish, for people in need.

Over 2,200 volunteers gathered to make 140 tons of kimchi from 61,500 heads of cabbage in an annual event organized by the yogurt drink maker Korea Yakult Co. as part of a charity campaign.

“It’s been more than 10 years since our kimchi-sharing event started,” said Lee Chang-hee, director of Korea Yakult. “In our society, there are many neighbors in difficult circumstances, such as old people living alone and child breadwinners. The event aims to make them feel warm and happy.”

In South Korea, now is the time to make kimchi before the cold sets in. Each household gets busy preparing for kimchi for consumption during the long winter months.

The volunteers found it a fruitful event that gives them a volunteer opportunity as the kimchi they produced will be distributed to those who can’t afford to make it themselves.

“I participated in the event happily to serve those in need,” said Ko Kyung-ok, a 52-year-old volunteer. “It needs a lot of energy to make this large amount of kimchi, but I feel great as it helps others.”

The event’s organizers said that the event helps deliver kimchi to some 25,000 needy households annually.