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How was Food Angel started?
Bo Charity Foundation was founded by Ms Gigi Tung in 2009 as a registered charitable organization. Food Angel is a sustainable food rescue and food assistance program launched by Bo Charity Foundation in 2011 with the ultimate goal of achieving “WASTE NOT, HUNGER NOT” to tackle the problems of food waste and food insecurity in Hong Kong.
What is the mission of Food Angel?
We strive to accomplish our multi-pronged mission: to help reduce food waste at source, alleviate hunger and poverty, and educate the next generation.
What is Food Angel’s geographical focus?
We have two central kitchens in Hong Kong, which are located in Chai Wan and Sham Shui Po. Our service areas are mainly deprived communities across Hong Kong, which includes Hong Kong Island, Kowloon East, Kowloon West, Tseung Kwan O, Kwai Tsing and Tuen Mun.
What are Food Angel’s goals for Hong Kong specifically?
It is Food Angel’s mission to collect edible surplus food from our local food industry and turn the otherwise wasted quality food into healthy and nutritious meals for those in need of food assistance.
Every day, Food Angel currently serves over 6, 000 nutritious hot meals and food packs to those in need, dispatched to more than 100 charity partners across Hong Kong and we rescue 4, 000 kg (a day) surplus food from going to our landfills.
How can Hong Kongers get involved with Food Angel?
Everyone can be a Food Angel, act now and make a difference! We always need volunteers, and we have three volunteer programs:
- Food Angel – Food Rescue & Food Assistance Program: Be a Food Angel volunteers and help with food preparation in our kitchens and help serve meals to the elderly at Food Angel Community Centre. Sign up here.
- Bread Angel – Bread Rescue Volunteering Program: Bread Angel volunteers collect unsold bakery products from bakeries at their closing time and directly deliver them to beneficiary centers for their next day consumption. More information here.
- Corporate Angel – Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Program Corporate Angel offers a spectrum of CSR programs for corporate volunteers. The program aims to engage corporations to perform their corporate social responsibilities and raise fund for the Food Angel Program. Get your company involved here.
Donations are also a huge help: HKD10 is all it takes to place a wholesome Food Angel meal prepared with healthy surplus food in the hands of the needy. We ask for your kind support. More details here.
What are some of your favourite charities, other than Food Angel of course?
What are some important figures to know when talking about food waste in Hong Kong?
- Over 3, 600 tons of surplus food is discarded in Hong Kong every day.
- All three of Hong Kong’s [garbage] landfills are due to be full by 2015 and 2018, respectively.
- Food waste produces a lot of methane, a greenhouse gas which is 25 times more damaging to the earth than carbon dioxide.
What type of foods do you accept and what must you turn away?
Food Angel collects edible surplus food and receives food donations including: fresh food, canned/non-perishable food, oils & seasonings, cooked foods and frozen/chilled foods. We do not accept high-risks and/or perishable foods including: dairy products (milk, yogurt, cheese etc.), seafood, cooked eggs, tofu and salad due to difficulties in food storage and handling.
Are you subject to any government regulations?
Yes, Food Angel needs to be covered by a food factory license from the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department. We also need to conform to the safety and hygiene standards laid down by Hong Kong law.
Where does most of your rescued food go to?
The rescued food items are prepared in our central kitchen as nutritious hot meals and non-perishable food packs; these are then redistributed to serve the underprivileged communities in Hong Kong.
What are the biggest challenges you face?
The challenges we are facing at the moment include: donors’ worries about potential liability, limited storage facilities to store the rescued food items, logistic arrangements for collecting and distributing food.
All photos courtesy of Food Angel.