On March 21, 2012, 2HA Chair Charles McJilton visited St. James Settlement’s People’s Food Bank in Hong Kong. People’s Food Bank has been serving the people in need in Hong Kong since 1997.

Here is the report from Charles.

People’s Food Bank started a hot meal service to street sweepers (the homeless) in 1997. In 2003, they stopped the hot meal program because of the SARS scare. They then launched food banking.

2HA Chair Charles McJilton Visits People's Food Bank in Hong Kong
Charles at People’s Food Bank.

People's Food Bank's Warehouse Filled With Food Supplies.
People’s Food Bank’s warehouse filled with food supplies.

The food bank initially provided things that clients could easily use such as rice, noodles, canned goods, fresh fruit, and meat. Between 2003 and 2008, the food bank had been reliant on donors through food drives at schools, churches, and companies. But in 2009, the Hong Kong government gave HK$100 million ($12.9 million) to five groups doing food banking activities.

This group of five food banks meet once a month to share information and appeal to the government for support. These food banks recognized by the government are located in five different areas of Hong Kong.

In 2011, People’s Food Bank saw a 25% increase in demand for services.  People’s Food Bank has eight programs to deliver food to those in need.

The Food Bank Repacks Rice in “St. James Settlement People’s Food Bank” Bags
They repack rice in “St. James Settlement People’s Food Bank” bags

We will post his full report here soon.

Second Harvest Asia will develop the regional food bank network in Asia to share best practices and experiences with other food banks. We hold online meetings regularly with Asian food bank members. If you are interested in joining our regional network, please contact us at info@secondharvestasia.org.