The “Charity Food Exchange Platform” at the sixth public market in Taichung was established earlier today (29). Since its trial operation in March, Fengyuan Fruit and Vegetable Wholesale Market has already donated 850kg of fruits, vegetables, fishes, and meats to 10 community concern bases, helping more than 4000 elderly people. President Tsai Ing-wen and Mayor Lin Chia-lung were invited as the guests of the unveiling ceremony. President Tsai expressed that Taichung is the first city in Taiwan that has made “Taichung City Food Bank Self-governance Articles.” It is hoped that this successful model can be promoted to other towns and cities in Taiwan. Making the best use of all the resources, it enables us to help those in need in order to make Taiwan a warmer place.
In his speech, Mayor Lin expressed that the public market closes at noon. Those foods that look unacceptable or excess ingredients will become kitchen waste by noon. If we can plan to make the best use of them earlier, we not only avoid wasting but also help the minorities. At present, there are 3 actual food banks in Taichung and 30 give-away points, 8 franchise chains, 6 charity ingredients exchange platforms, serving 2500 families every month.
The Social Affairs Bureau expressed that from Monday to Saturday, if there is any leftover food, 10 community concern centers that provide catering services, including Puzi Community Development Association, and more, will send volunteers to collect charity food from the vendors at the Charity Food Exchange Platform at Fengyuan Fruits and Vegetable Market. Then, they are going to cook these ingredients to serve hot lunches to those in need. Mayor Lin said, by doing so the elderly people eat these “hot and tasty” dishes.
President Tsai Ing-wen expressed that, in the past, the food bank only provided rice, canned food, and dried preserved food. Now with the joining of markets, it not only avoids wasting any food but also provides diverse food sources. She was deeply touched when seeing Mayor Lin to promote food bank dedicatedly. She expressed that “Taichung City Food Bank Self-governance Articles” is a pioneer act in Taiwan that help utilize regional resources better.
President Tsai added some vendors have left some good food specifically so that the elderly people can have the chances of eating crab dishes. It shows that people really have loving hearts to give the elderly people the feelings that they have special dishes every day. She believes that the integration of the exchange platform and community concern is perfect. In the morning, the market has a high turnover rate so that today’s food can be consumed on the same day. It really helps complete the social security network.
Mayor Lin also said that in the future we can entrust Kerry TJ Logistics to deliver the charity food to Changhua, Nantou, and Miaoli areas so that the elderly people there can eat local and seasonal food to live a nutritious and healthy life. Mayor Lin also promotes the Food Bank Self-governance Articles to President Tsai. He hopes it is possible to promote legislation in order to empower the central government promote and build up a charity food information network to form a benign cycle.
Director-General Lu Chian-de of the Social Affairs Bureau expressed that in Taiwan about 275 tons of food are wasted. And there are about 3% to 7% of marginal households in Taiwan. The promotion of the food bank in Taichung adjusts the demand and supply, together with the monitoring of food safety by the Health Bureau. It is a very successful model indeed.
Director-General Lu Yao-Zhi of Economic Development Bureau expressed that after the launching of food exchange platform in the public markets in Wufeng, Fengyuan First, Fuan, Taiping, and First Market in Wuqi, Fengyuan Fruit and Vegetable Market took turn to launch another platform. It is the first public wholesale market that has joined the charity food bank. These six points can serve more than 6000 people every month. It swaps from serving meals to elderly people to eating together. Gathering everybody’s forces, we take care of elderly people. In the future, it is possible to promote this model to other towns and cities through the Taichung, Changhua, Nantou, and Miaoli Administration Platform.
President Tsai Shen-yang of Fengyuan Produce Co. Ltd. expressed that the market vendors are enthusiastic in taking care of the minorities. They are willing to pay. All the donated fresh produce are collected by different communities, including Puzi, Zunliao, Nantian, Liancun, Tianxin, Wengzi, Fengyuan, Fengrong, Nancun, and Wengming. In the future, it is possible to raise 300kg to 500kg of fruits and vegetables. And there will be staff to serve and select the foods so that the elderly can eat safely with peace of mind.