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Food Banks in Hong Kong

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Food Banks in Hong Kong

http://hk.myblog.yahoo.com/lwmlung/article?mid=2127

 

 

James Lung Wai Man

 

In-charge, James Lung International Arts and Cultural Exchange Association Hong Kong Food Bank

February 2010

 

 

Preface

 

 

Since the handover in 1997 to China, Hong Kong has undergone international financial difficulties twice. There is increasing poor population and the demand of food bank become more popular.

 

 

Since fifty years ago, many Catholic and Christian churches and organizations are forced to withdraw from China to Hong Kong. At that time, after the World War II, Hong Kong has not been fully recovered. With the increasing number of inflow of refugees from China, people are living in poverty.

 

 

Catholic and Christian churches and various charitable organizations provide free food for the poor people to help them to pass the difficult period. With their efforts, they have created a prototype of food banks in the city.

 

 

The present status of food banks in Hong Kong

 

 

Hong Kong Social Welfare Department is sponsoring five food banks in various district in Hong Kong, running by the following charitable bodies:

 

 

The St. James Settlement,

Tung Wah Group of Hospitals,

Kwun Tong Methodist Social Service,

Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui Welfare Association, and

The Hong Kong Women''s Federation.

 

 

Meanwhile, "The Food Sharing Program" is sponsoring the following charitable bodies in running "The Food Recall Campaign" :

 

 

James Lung International Arts and Cultural Exchange Association,

The CTU Education Fund Limited, and

The Hong Kong Women''s Federation.

 

 

The program also assist James Lung International Arts and Cultural Exchange Association to found the first ethnic minorities food bank in the city.

 

 

Some non government organizations also provide free food regularly in the city for street sleepers, released inmates and other people in need.

 

 

Hong Kong''s population in poverty has increased

 

 

According to the statistics from 2009, Hong Kong has one million people, who are living below the poverty line. Among them, 340,000 people are children. Some of them are taking care by single parent, who cannot have extra time for jobs to earn sufficient funds for living. There are also unemployed street sleepers. They have been jobless for years, and lose the incentive to struggle for survival. There are also ethnic minorities, who cannot break the language barriers out. They can only find part time jobs with low income.

 

 

Food banks can provide them food with sufficient daily basic nutrition. Some food banks can provide cooked food for them, to make them feel much warmer in winter time.

 

 

The inflation in Hong Kong

 

 

Although the composition of the food has not changed much, the food prices rise geometrically. It is because of the luxurious packing, more and more additives for the better tastes of food and the longer storage period.

The additional salary expenses and research and development costs of the above are paid by consumers. With the monopolistic controls by big companies, grassroots people can only do the window shopping, but cannot afford to buy.

 

 

Food banks can share with them some food that they may not buy.

 

 

The food being wasted in Hong Kong

 

 

The supermarkets always charge high prices for the food manufacturing companies to put their products in the supermarkets for sell. In order to attract customers to buy the products, the products have no good looking have to be thrown away.

 

 

Even through the deadline of food consumption has not been yet passed, the food may also be disposed, in order to give room for new products. Fruits and vegetables that will no good looking are also disposed. They are eatable but they are all in the landfills.

 

 

If Hong Kong continues to waste food, the landfills will be over occupied very soon. The results will be disastrous.

 

 

Suggestions

 

 

Food banks help a lots for grassroots families. And food banks in Hong Kong have accumulated many valuable experiences. In 2009, Macao government has decided to format her regional food banks also.

 

 

The gaps between rich and poor people in China become widen and widen. Food banks for unemployed and poor people in China are essential. We suggest that the Chinese Government has can learn from Hong Kong and Macau, to set up food banks in various provinces, to help poor people.

 

 

Conclusion

 

 

Food and other things donations are welcomed. You can help poor people, and to reduce pressure on landfills. Let us cherish the food, protect the earth.

 

 

Please contact us if you need food.

 

 

If you have any feedback, please e-mail to: lunsausheung@yahoo.com.hk.

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   10/11/10 01:09:54 PM
Dear James I would like to be a volunteer at the Food Bank. Pls send me details. Brgds. Kelly