Taiwanese waste NT$240 billion worth of food every year, which is enough to provide free lunch to students for 39 years! To change this bad practice and donate the excess food to socially disadvantaged, Taichung City Government held a promotional event at the Feng Chun Community Center (豐圳社區活動中心) of Fengyuan District on March 9. Present at the event were Wang Ching-feng (王清峰), President of Red Cross; Tan Ai-zhen (譚艾珍), a famous entertainer; and Mayor Jason Hu. All of them shouted loudly “Save and donate one dish of food to the food banks to help the disadvantaged."
Kitchen waste produced every day in Taiwan can be stacked as high as 70 Taipei 101 buildings. Lan Zheng-xiong (藍正雄), owner of Family Mart convenience store franchise and nearly 20 public interest groups have launched the "New Good Food Movement" (新良食運動) to promote the concept that people can save a banquet dish and donate the money to the food banks or the disadvantaged families. The campaign has won the strong support of Mayor Hu; President Wang; Tan Ai-zhen; Shi Jing-wen (石靜文), Director-general of Information Bureau; Wu Shi-wei (吳世瑋), Director-general of Construction Bureau; Chang Ta-chuen(張大春), Director-general ofTourism and Travel Bureau; Lee Jin-er (李錦娥), Director-general ofFinanceBureau; Wang Chu-tong (王秋冬), Director-general ofCivil Affairs Bureau; and Huang Mei-na (黄美娜), Director-general of Health Bureau. All of them were present in person at the press conference.
Upon the launch of the campaign, China Family Aid and Care Association (中華關懷家庭扶助協會) and Fengyuan Post Office (豐原郵局) donated to the Food Bank NT$30,000 in cash and NT$6,000 worth of oat flour, respectively, for which Mayor Hu accepted on behalf of the Food Banks. In addition, Wang Jia-chu(汪珈竹), Advisor of Shi-fen Empowerment Center (十分啟能中心) also donated NT$10,000 after the event, while the Kiwanis (同濟會) promised to promote the campaign at its next painting activities.
Mayor Hu also said in his keynote speech, “Taiwanese have a strange concept: the more your guests eat, the more sincere you are. Thus, when you see the plates of your guests empty, you order more food. As a result, there is always waste. The charity organizations in Taichung hope our citizens can respond to this campaign by saving one dish of food and donate the money to food banks or the disadvantaged families. I myself have saved two dishes over the past year. As a result, I have lost 10 kilograms and I am getting healthier.”
Lan Zheng-xiong, one of the promoters, said, “We have more than 1,000 members so far and we vow to promote the movement in every important community event. We hope everyone can join us in saving funds or supplies and donate the saved money to food banks to help disadvantaged families.”
Social Affairs Bureau pointed out that Taichung "Food Bank of Love" is a joint effort of 33 public interest groups and 31 corporate entities, which donate supplies to food banks and 27 depots operated in the form of convenience stores to help nearly 3,000 disadvantaged families. This service program is awarded "the 5th Government Service Quality Award."
Public interest groups also recognize and support a number of charity programs initiated by Mayor Hu, namely Little Red Envelopes of Love, Warmth Express, Work-Study Program for Students from Disadvantaged Families, Doubling of Rehabus for People with Disabilities, Suspended Meal Shops, and Family Welfare Service Centers. It is hoped that Taichung City will become the friendliest city to the disadvantaged.