The concept of "suspended meals”, in which people buy and reserve meals for the needy at an eatery, a café, or a restaurant, has recently become very popular in Taiwan. Social Affairs Bureau of Taichung City Government took the lead to set up the “Suspended Charitable Food Resources Map" in the country. Wang Xiu-yan (王秀燕), Director-general of Social Affairs Bureau, said the Map will start to investigate and publicize the service locations for suspended meals in May. Everyone is welcome to join this charitable movement.
Following the concept of suspended coffee originated from Italy, many businesses in Taichung City have launched "suspended meals", "suspended noodle", and even "suspended cake" movements, which are not so implementable because the messages are not widely circulated. To help those kind-hearted people to fulfill their good intentions, Taichung City Government has thus set up the Suspended Charitable Food Resources Map as a bridge between the charity shops and the vulnerable people, stressed Director-General Wang.
Wang said, "As ‘suspended meals’ have been widely discussed on Facebook, newspapers and magazines, or among the general public, I think the government can work together with the private sector to make this beautiful concept more mature and practical. So, I talked to a number of stores in Tun districts and found all of them support this idea. Therefore, we at the city government began to build up such a platform.”
Director-general Wang urged the stores wishing to provide suspended meals and people aware of the location providing such resources to contact the Social Assistance Section of Social Affairs Bureau or the public service hotline 1999 to help furnish such basic information as the store name, its address, its contact phone number, its meal content, its meal time and others. Social Affairs Bureau hopes to establish the “Suspended Charitable Food Resources Map" soonest possible.
Wang added, “Once the Resources Map is established, we at the Social Affairs Bureau can take the disadvantaged families to dine at the charity shops. If the charity shops, the media, and the public are aware of anyone in need of social assistance, they can first get the consent of that person and then report to the Social Affairs Bureau. We will send social workers or volunteers to assist the needy. We hope the charity resources can be used in a best way for the vulnerable.”
Some stores have expressed their concern that the Resources Map may cause troubles to their operations. Director-General Wang said her Social Affairs Bureau will call meetings and invite the stores from all the 29 administrative districts in Taichung to discuss how to set up a mechanism to regularly publish the information in a simplified way so as to avoid disturbing the store operations.