June 2, 2012

Reducing food waste charitably

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This past week, attention was drawn to the issue of food waste in Hong Kong by an article in the South China Morning Post.  The article mentioned the findings and estimates by Friends of the Earth based on their observations of food disposals from the city's largest supermarket chains.  I think many people were in for a shock.

Food waste has always been around, but what is outrageous is that we live in a city where many people don't have enough to eat.  People are throwing out food that is perfectly good and safe to eat, without even thinking of doing something good with it.

I'm very honored to count among my friends two people who have founded charities to help solve this problem.  Both of them have run successful businesses, but also have active charitable sides.  As someone who both loves food and tries to help our environment, it is my privilege to help spread the word about these two organizations.

Feeding Hong Kong

Feeding Hong Kong runs a food bank, which means it is engaged in the collection, storage and redistribution of food.  It was co-founded by my good friend Tigger, who has an amazing ability to connect people and an even more amazing ability to convince them to open their wallets and check books for charity.

With the generous support of partners such as the Sino Group - who among other things have donated space for them to store the collected food and use as office space - and food donors around Hong Kong, the team at Feeding Hong Kong and their volunteers have been collecting, sorting and delivering nutritious food to 23 welfare organizations regularly in vans supplied by Mercedez-Benz.  The types of food being delivered range from canned and packaged food to vegetables, salads and sandwiches.  They are also starting a program to deliver bread with the support of donors like Maxim's.

I love the fact that not only are they working to help the needy, they are also helping to keep our environment clean by reducing the amount of food waste going to Hong Kong's already overcrowded landfills.  This is EXACTLY what the South China Morning Post article was talking about!

I would encourage you to check out their website or Facebook page, and find out how you can help and get involved.

Giving Bread

True to its name, Giving Bread is all about delivering bread to those in need.  It was founded by my friend Celene Loo who - besides being a woman of many talents and a passion for life - is a kind soul with a very big heart.

Interestingly, Giving Bread doesn't ask donors for money - they are soliciting only bread.  The bread is delivered to locations such as nursing homes, caged homes and homeless shelters, and with an inspiring quote from the Bible included with each package.  The organization counts many hotels, restaurants and bakeries among its generous supporters, including the Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong - with Chef Gregoire Michaud being one of the volunteers - and my good friends from the Press Room Group through their Classified outlets.

Besides nourishment for the body, Celene and her fellow volunteers bring much-needed love and personal touch while making their deliveries.  They visit elderly homes and spend time with a segment of Hong Kong's population who are often forgotten.  From the pictures I have seen being posted on their website and Facebook page, these senior citizens appear happy and grateful to see this band of kind-hearted visitors.  My good friends Lord and Lady Rayas have been regular volunteers along with their beautiful sons, and I'm extremely happy that the kids are taught to be kind and charitable from such a young age.

I hope to join Celene on one of her deliveries the next time I'm back in Hong Kong, and I hope to see you there, too!

1 comment:

Michelle Chin said...

i"m glad that the south china morning post brought this up. this is a global issue and unfortunately, not much of us are aware of it! i think parents should really encourage their children not to waste food. i know way too much of friends who waste food really! i try to stop them but to no avail!


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