On Oct 15 and 16, Second Harvest Asia held Asia’s first food bank workshop and forum. Food bank representatives from seven countries got together in Hong Kong to attend the workshop. At the 16th forum, we had many attendees from different countries, but primarily from Hong Kong. We felt their growing interests in food banking in Hong Kong.
We started the event with visiting two food banks in Hong Kong: Feeding Hong Kong and St. Jame’s Settlement People’s Food Bank.
Gabrielle Kristein kindly explained to us about Feeding Hong Kong’s operations. FHK’s warehouse was very well-organized, and the visitors were able to learn about their systematic way to recruit partner agencies. Also, we were fascinated by their focus on food waste in Hong Kong. (Photo from FHK’s facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=484792258219329&set=a.295900677108489.79237.256582554373635&type=1&theater)
Connie Ng at People’s Food Bank explained about the food bank operations. The food bank has 17 staffers at five districts across Hong Kong. They have many social workers and offer wholesome services for the poor with extensive meal programs.
Then, we had the food bank workshop in the afternoon. We had three speakers to talk about humanitarian logistics, food bank management and leadership, and anti-corruption activities in the Philippines. Plus, each food bank participant talked about their own operations in their country. We had Anson Quek from Food from the Heart in Singapore, Cris Bonoan from Salu-Salo: Food Bank Philippines, Lee Youngsook from Japan speaking about the South Korean food bank system, Dr. Henry Pillai from Grace Community Services in Malaysia, Siongwoan Chua from Kechara Soup-kitchen in Malaysia, Masahiro Otake and Sera Palmer from Second Harvest Japan, Connine Ng from St. Jame’s Settlement People’s Food Bank, and Gabrielle Kristein from Feeding Hong Kong.
It was historic that food banks in Asia got together at one place for the first time. Our next goal is to keep dialogues among us moving and work together by setting clear goals to develop food banking in Asia. We would like to extend special thanks to Feeding Hong Kong and St. Jame’s Settlement People’s Food Bank for having us at their sites.