Waste Not, Want Not: On a Bread Run mission

Chris Lau

Thanks to a charity, leftover pastries may help feed the needy instead of ending up in rubbish bins

Chris Lau |

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Participants of Young Post's 'Waste Not, Want Not' tour Feeding Hong Kong's centre after their Bread Run missions.
At the end of each day bakeries throw away pastries that they have not been able to sell. Most items are still edible, but they are no longer regarded as fresh enough for sale.

The foodbank, Feeding Hong Kong, knows what to do with all that uneaten bread. Under its Bread Run initiative, the non-profit organisation collects unwanted food and hands it to the needy.

About twice a week, the charity's volunteers fan out to bakeries across the city to collect leftover loaves, rolls and buns. They return to the charity's base with bags of pastries, which are then given away.

As part of Young Post's Waste Not Want Not challenge, 14 students recently joined the volunteers for a night mission. Among them were Chu Hiu-laam, Kwam Wing-tung, Pang Wai-sze and Wong Kat-yi, from Po Leung Kuk 1984 College.

"Before participating in the Bread Run campaign, we hardly had any idea about how [bakeries] handle bread which could not be sold," they said. "We thought they would just throw it all away. But, fortunately, Feeding Hong Kong has a better solution."

Feeding Hong Kong's project executive, Vivian Fung, briefs students participants of Young Post's Waste Not Want Not campaign at Feeding Hong Kong.

During their mission, the group travelled to Quarry Bay, North Point and Kwun Tong to collect loaves of unwanted bread from bakeries. "It was not an easy job as we had to go to five cake shops in different districts, and the pastries we collected were really heavy," they recalled. "However, we all understand that the job is as meaningful as it is special."

Shahul Hameed Nuaim, a Form Three student at Islamic Kasim Tuet Memorial College, was among the students on that night's outing. "It made me feel good to help stop the wasteful practice of throwing away food which can still be eaten and give it to those in need," Nuaim said.

Students participants of Young Post's Waste Not Want Not campaign collect bread at a bakery in Kowloon Bay.

The student visited two bakery shops that night. He said bakery shops were very generous. "I was really shocked to see how much bread they gave us. I think all the bread I brought back was enough for 50-75 people," he said.

Although the students' bread run ended that night, their mission with Young Post to save food continues.

You may not have time to get involved with our project but that doesn't mean you can't do your part to reduce food waste. Join us in our Green Ribbon Campaign and sign the pledge to limit your own food waste!

Read about the other workshops:

- Visit to South East New Territories (SENT) Landfill

- Planting crops at Fruitful Organic Farm

- Visit to Hong Kong Science Park to see technology that put leftover food to new uses

- Visit to the Kowloon Bay Waste Recycling Centre to see how they turn food waste into compost

- Learn how the chefs at the Hyatt Regency Shatin use leftovers to create new dishes

- Elvis Au, assistant director at the Environmental Protection Department, explains what the government is doing to fight food waste

- See what some schools are already doing with their food waste