Avoiding landfills by using HK’s food excess to fight poverty
You might have guessed that we’re big foodies here at Sassy Mama, and we’re lucky to live in a city with so many fantastic dining options. With such a variety of restaurants and cuisines available to us, it’s easy to forget that many people living in Hong Kong are actually going hungry. In fact, 1 in 5 people are unable to afford three meals a day, and live below the poverty line. Conversely, 3,600 tons of food waste is chucked into Hong Kong’s landfills everyday… that’s the equivalent of eight fully loaded Boeing 747 aeroplanes! These shocking statistics reveal serious issues and deep contradictions in our society, and that’s where Foodlink steps in.
What is Foodlink?
Foodlink is Hong Kong’s leading hunger relief charity, and they aim to help solve the problems mentioned above – hunger and food wastage. Foodlink aims to provide every person in Hong Kong who is vulnerable to hunger with a nutritious, hot meal. This includes children, the elderly, asylum seekers, the homeless and low-income families who struggle to feed themselves in our city. By providing these people with healthy, filling meals, Foodlink not only fights against hunger and poverty but also relieves some of the pressure from Hong Kong’s growing landfills, helping to reduce food waste.
How does it work?
Foodlink essentially acts as the middleman or ‘bridge’ between the recipient and the donor. The recipients are the 65 charities that they work with, including the Street Sleepers’ Shelter Society – Wan Chai, Pathfinders, Home Care for Girls, The Society for AIDS Care and The Anonymous Elderly Home in Wong Chuk Hang, to name but a few. The 68 donors include hotels and restaurants across Hong Kong’s Food and Beverage industry, with establishments such as the Four Seasons, the Grand Hyatt, The Mira hotel, Maxim’s Group and Yardbird all participating. Foodlink first matches up the recipients to the donors depending on how close they are to each other, making the transfer of food quicker. This also ensures that the food stays fresh! They provide the donors with special containers to refrigerate the surplus food in, before it is delivered by van to the recipients. When delivered, the food is then re-heated before being served on site. This makes sure that those receiving the food have a hot meal that is also safe and fresh… just what everyone deserves!
What can you do to help?
Foodlink’s work is not only alleviating hunger across our city in the fight against poverty, but it’s also helping to reduce the scary amount of food waste that is filling up Hong Kong landfills. If you want to get involved with this fantastic charity, then sign up to be a volunteer! Simply email [email protected] to see how you can help – they are looking for people to help out in everything from events, marketing and referrals, to translation and graphic design (see here for more info).
Foodlink wouldn’t be able to continue their operations without generous donations. Just $6 a day can provide someone with a nutritious meal! I think we can all spare $6! They accept donations by bank transfer, cheque and cash, and you know your contribution will be going towards two great, local causes. Alternatively, why not try fundraising and see how much you can raise for them?
Check out Foodlink’s Facebook page for more info and keep track of their upcoming events… don’t forget to ‘like’ them too!