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SIE Fund’s Food Support Flagship Project FOOD-CO Collected Close to 200 Tonnes of Surplus Food in First Year Connecting over 220 Service Points in all 18 Districts

Date : 26/06/2018

June 26, 2018 – The Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship Development Fund (SIE Fund) engaged St. James’ Settlement (SJS) to take forward the Fund’s Food Support Flagship Project and launch the FOOD-CO platform, the first all-round food support collaborative platform in Hong Kong, to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness  of  food  support  services  with  the  use  of  technology and  data analysis.   With  FOOD-CO  registering  significant  results  within  its  first  year  of operation, SJS and the SIE Fund jointly held a media briefing today to announce the project’s achievements as well as the latest state of play of the food support services in Hong Kong.   After the briefing, the partners recognition ceremony, officiated by Mr.  Matthew  Cheung, Chief  Secretary  for Administration of  the HKSAR, was staged in appreciation of the support of all FOOD-CO stakeholders for the platform.

FOOD-CO first went on trial in Kwai Tsing, Kwun Tong and Yuen Long in May last year.   Within six months, the food support service points in those three districts have increased from 27 to 47 while the number of meals served daily has more than doubled, both exceeding the projected service targets. Since November last year, FOOD-CO has rapidly expanded to cover all 18 districts across Hong Kong. The results are encouraging.

In  the  past  year,  the  number  of  food  support  service  points  registered  on FOOD-CO has increased from 161 prior to service commencement to 221, while more than 330 corporates and organisations offer support through food donations. FOOD-CO  has  received  close  to  200  tonnes  of  food  of  a  total  value  of approximately HK$20 million and provided nearly 2.6 million sets of meals in total. A summary of the average numbers of meals and beneficiaries served daily is as follows:

Number of meals served (daily average) Number of beneficiaries (daily average)
Prior to service commencement in 2017 33 000 sets 15 000 persons
May 2018 40 101sets

(+7 101 sets)

18 215 persons

(+3 215 persons)

Latest projection by May 2019

[original targets byDecember 2019]

53 000 sets

[over 50 000 sets]

22 000 persons

[over 20 000 persons]

With  the  remarkable  progress  achieved  so  far,  it  is  projected  that  both  the numbers of meals and beneficiaries to be served daily for the whole of Hong Kong by mid-2019 will surpass the original targets set for end-2019.

“FOOD-CO has received overwhelming responses from different sectors since its launch. After a trial of six months in Kwai Tsing, Kwun Tong and Yuen Long, both the numbers of meals and beneficiaries served daily in the three districts have more than doubled while the amount of surplus food recovered have increased by 90%, overshooting the respective original targets.   Moreover, FOOD-CO has expanded rapidly from three to 18 districts in merely six months,’ Professor Stephen Cheung Yan-leung, Chairperson of SIE Fund Task Force, said.

“SJS has been in the forefront of food support service for many years.   With the support  of  the  SIE  Fund,  we  are  running  the  FOOD-CO  platform  with  a commitment to promoting cross-sector collaboration and consolidating social resources to assist people in need.   FOOD-CO has achieved significant results within its first year of operation and that would not have been possible without the support and hard work of various stakeholders.   We will be working even harder to spread the message of ‘Save & Share’, reduce food waste and promote good living,” said Ms. Josephine Lee, Chief Executive Officer of SJS.

Mr.   Thomas   Tang,   Director   of   Community   Services   Limited,   beneficiary organisation of FOOD-CO, said, “Before we joined FOOD-CO in May last year, we were only providing hot meals. With the resources provided by FOOD-CO, we started our food bank service. The number of beneficiaries in our neighbourhood has increased by one-third as a result of the expanded services.”

Revd Leung Yau-tung, Chief Executive of Mission to New Arrivals Limited, another beneficiary organisation of FOOD-CO, commented on the ease of use of the FOOD-CO app that facilitates coordination among districts, especially on logistics support.  A  food  support  service  point  can  connect  its  counterparts  more efficiently and directly. This expedites food collection and reduces the cost and time spent on transport.

Food support service points often encounter problems with logistics. To address that challenge, FOOD-CO reached out to the logistics industry to provide support for food support service points. Mr. Alan Cheung, Deputy Managing Director of Kerry EAS Logistics Limited, who once handled 37 tonnes of milk powder swiftly within three days, said, “We are glad to be able to contribute to the food support service in Hong Kong through providing logistics assistance to food support service points, helping save more food from being dumped.”

Furthermore, Mr. Joe Lau, Director of Beans Group Limited, a FOOD-CO partner, said, “FOOD-CO’s mission to promote ‘Save and Share’ is a perfect match with our charity project.   We believe in ‘local solutions to resolve local poverty’.   We hope to deliver our meal coupons and unused resources to people in need and give back to the society through FOOD-CO’s network.”

FOOD-CO is now calling on food support service providers and corporates to download the FOOD-CO mobile app and join the collaborative platform. The public can also locate food support service points in different districts through the “Food Sharing Map”. For details, please visit https://food-co.hk/main/zh or call 21175855.

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