Restaurants Unite For The Donate-A-Meal Campaign To Fight Hunger In Hong Kong
While the Covid-19 pandemic rages on around the globe, Hong Kong has been relatively fortunate with its low numbers. Over the months, the vigilance of the public has led to the much welcomed easing of social distancing measures, such as increasing the number of restaurant diners per table from four to six, a move welcomed by a city that loves to eat. So it couldn’t be a better time for the Donate-A-Meal campaign to launch, which will help raise both awareness of and funds for Hong Kong’s most vulnerable communities who have been hard hit by the pandemic.
From 1 to 30 November 2020, diners at participating restaurants can pledge a voluntary donation of HK$15 to their bill, which will go directly to benefit three local grassroots charities: Feeding Hong Kong, Christian Action and ImpactHK. The donations will go towards funding emergency food, shelter and support to those who have been severely impacted and suffering from a loss of income because of the pandemic. According to Donate-A-Meal’s founder Kristine Nudds, the demand for services of charities such as these has increased more than threefold since the start of the year—a telling sign of how deeply affected society is.
Gabrielle Kirstein of Feeding Hong Kong says that even just HK$5 will help provide a meal to someone in need—the charity has supported over 2 million meals for the community and hope that the Donate-A-Meal campaign will provide even more resources to help carry their work through the year and into 2021.
Jeff Rotmeyer, the founder of ImpactHK, also notes that he has seen a shocking uptick in the number of homeless individuals in Hong Kong—with many more going unrecorded because of the stigma of poverty. He hopes that the campaign will help the charity to continue serving hot meals and maintaining the safe spaces and shelters that they provide for those who need it.
The funds will provide a lifeline to the vulnerable, adds Cheung-Ang Siew Wei, the executive director of Christian Action. The group’s emergency food station in Yau Tsim Mong is committed to serving at least 1,000 vulnerable individuals in the area—who often live in subdivided flats—by providing them with free meals and basic food items.
More than 23 restaurants and cafes have signed up to the cause, including Meraki Group’s portfolio (Bedu, Mamma Always Said, Uma Nota), Veda, Treehouse, Te Quiero Mucho, Locofama and social enterprise operations such as Cafe 8 and The Nest. Many of us are fortunate to be able to go out and enjoy our favourite restaurants again, and if dining out can help the F&B industry as well as those in need, we see it as a triple-win situation.
To discover more about the campaign and participating restaurants, visit donate-a-meal.org