With around 970,000 people living under the poverty line in Hong Kong, secure access to nutritious meals continues to be an important social issue. However, 3,380 tonnes of food is discarded and sent to landfills every day.
Government and NGOs have tried to address this issue by offering free meals and setting up food banks. But the demand for food support services has yet to be met, and edible food is still going to waste.
Using technology for good
In June 2016, St. James’ Settlement was tasked by the SIE Fund to set-up and run FOOD-CO – a centralised platform for food support services in Hong Kong. Their aim is to use technology to facilitate food donation and minimise food surplus; to share best practices among service organisations; to promote public awareness of food support needs of the underprivileged; and to advocate a mindset change towards food donation.
The platform helps farms, restaurants, cafeterias, hotels, supermarkets and individuals to post any food surplus. Pre-approved food support NGOs are then able to request this donation and have it delivered to their facilities.
For people in need of a meal, the platform hosts an interactive map with all the different locations offering food support services across the city, making it easier to find a meal.
People interested in supporting this initiative and its collaborators can also use the site to make a donation, or if interested in volunteering, FOOD-CO can help you find a partner to volunteer with.
PwC’s role is to assist FOOD-CO with making sure they are complementing the food support services and not overburdening any existing platforms or players. We do this by acting as an independent assessor, conducting stakeholder interviews and research to assess the effectiveness of the initiative and identify improvements to make the platform more efficient, robust and sustainable.
Want to get involved or find out more about FOOD-CO? Click here to visit FOOD-CO’s website