Founded on October 16, 1981, World Food Day is dedicated to tackling global hunger. This year’s focus is on making healthy and environmentally-friendly diets affordable and available to everyone.
Even though the words “hunger” and “starvation” may seem to be an alien concept in Hong Kong, the government’s Poverty Situation Report revealed that one in five residents live in poverty. Often, this group of people do not have access to three basic meals a day, fresh fruit, and vegetables.
And that’s where food banks come into the picture. There are more than 20 such charities distributing food to the needy. Here are a few where you can also become a volunteer.
Founded in 2009, this food bank collects and redistributes surplus food. Feeding Hong Kong works with more than 200 companies to rescue unsold food that is safe to eat.
Apart from helping in collecting, sorting, and distributing food, volunteers can sign up as “bread runners,” to pick up unsold bread from bakeries across the city. Feeding Hong Kong also has an internship programme for university students who are passionate about environmental and social issues.
Food Angel is a food rescue and help programme. Run mostly by volunteers, the charity collects surplus food from different sectors of the food industry that would otherwise be disposed of as waste.
Each week the charity turns out 10,000 meals in their central kitchen and prepares 2000 food packs daily. These are then distributed to underprivileged communities in Hong Kong. Volunteers can choose between a variety of tasks such as sorting raw vegetables, preparing meal boxes, and distributing hot meals to different locations across the city.
This organisation aims to promote a sustainable lifestyle and reduce waste through education, events, and campaigns. Just like Feeding Hong Kong, it also runs a weekly bread rescue programme. Every Wednesday, volunteers collect surplus bread from bakeries after closing time. The bread is then distributed to those in need.
Since 2001, the not-for-profit charity, Foodlink Foundation, has focused on fighting hunger while reducing food wastage in Hong Kong. Unsold safe-to-eat surplus food is collected from restaurants and outlets all over the city, helping to reduce wastage.
By collaborating with more than 113 donors, the charity saves about 665 tonnes of food a year. It provides more than 1.6 million meals and distributes around 780,000 pieces of bread annually.
Other than helping out at special events, you can take part in Foodlink Foundation’s Give programme by setting up your own fundraising page on their behalf.
Located in Sai Ying Pun, the People’s Food Bank started as a relief centre for homeless people on Hong Kong Island.
It has since extended its services and now provides food and support programmes for unemployed people and low-income families. Youth volunteers can help out by signing up to the charity’s various food drives and other fund raisers.
You can also help to repack food at this charity’s central kitchen in Kwun Tong.