Foodbanking and the “Food Matters” campaign: Rescuing food to help those most affected by COVID-19. An innovative solution that needs support.
For the fraction of a cup of coffee, we can support someone with three meals a day. We are looking for 100 people to donate HK$15.00 a day—that’s 3 meals a day—with a monthly donation for the next three months.
Even before this recent crisis, one in five children and one in three elderly were not getting enough to eat in Hong Kong. Imagine not having enough to eat. Every day. Imagine not being able to feed your children properly.
The daily food allowance for low-income families is just HK$30.00 a day, per person, which is the budget for over 1.4million people already below the poverty line of $4,000 per month (December 2019). Hong Kong’s wealth distribution gap (as measured by the Gini coefficient) has risen to its highest level in 45 years.
And now things are getting worse: Closed businesses mean many employees are put on unpaid leave, causing additional financial hardship for food-insecure families. Closed schools are reducing children’s access to school breakfast and lunch programs. Disrupted supply chains and panic buying mean that food prices are higher than usual, reducing food access for vulnerable people.
Meanwhile, we also dump 3,600 tonnes of food every day into already at capacity landfills. That means over a million tonnes of food is sent to waste every year in Hong Kong. We estimate 10% of this being surplus and fit for consumption, which is enough food for over 50 million meals. The government figures put the cost to the taxpayer of waste disposal in 2016 at HK$614 per tonne; that’s over HK$60million a month, just in food waste, filling landfills, and the resulting noxious fumes and toxic effluents.
Our solution: A Foodbank, where we source and rescue surplus food from food companies that would otherwise go to waste, which we then redistribute to charities and community programmes in Hong Kong. This model means great efficiencies and vastly reduced costs, so for only HK$5.00 a day we can provide a nutritious meal for someone in need. The surplus food banking model is recognised internationally as one of the most beneficial feeding programmes that not only saves food from going to waste, but also for its cost-efficiency.
Feeding Hong Kong has been a registered charity since 2011, and has grown significantly during this time. Today, we operate an 11,000sqft Foodbank and run 4 trucks. Last year, we supported 132 charity programmes with a total of 2.17 million meals. Find out more at www.feedinghk.org.
FOOD MATTERS CAMPAIGN - For the fraction of a cup of coffee we can support someone with three meals a day.
We are looking for 100 people to donate HK$15.00 a day—that’s three meals a day—with a monthly donation, for the next three months. Click here to donate. Some example donations:
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