FOOD BANKED

ON THIS PAGE:   Background  I   Starter Activities  I   Main Activities  I   Further Discussion  I   Action: What You Can Do   

In this module, we look at the role of food banks in society, both globally and in Hong Kong, as well as other methods used to share and repurpose surplus food. There are many different models of food banking, but essentially they all perform the same service, rescuing surplus food and redistributing it to individuals and communities in need. By combining two problems with one solution, food banks play an important role in the ongoing fight to reduce both food waste and food insecurity.

Our Solution: Food Banking

Check out Some Facts & Stats on Food Banks

FOOD BANKING 101
  1. The Global FoodBanking Network (GFN) is an international organisation dedicated to creating and strengthening national food banks and their networks.
  2. The GFN has over 950 members in more than 40 countries across Europe, the Americas, Africa, the Middle East and Southeast Asia.
  3. Food banking is about ensuring good food does not go to waste but is instead safely and efficiently redistributed to those in need. 
  4. A food bank works closely with the local food industry to “rescue” excess food and ensure it is not sent to landfills.
  5. Just like any for-profit food organisation, food banks take great care to ensure they only distribute food of the highest standard.
  6. Food banking is also about working efficiently at scale. In the normal course of business farmers, manufacturers, distributors and retailers produce or obtain excess food that they cannot sell. Often this food is in large volumes and if it is to be rescued, it must be done so quickly.
  7. Most charities do not have the transportation, space or manpower to collect, sort and store a pallet or truckload of donated food, but a food bank is specifically set up to do just that.
  8. With help from volunteers, they sort, pack and re-distribute the food through a network of partner charities.
  9. With thousands of food banks on every continent, there are many different models, but these are some of the key elements shared by food banks around the world.
THE HONG KONG SOLUTION
  1. Feeding Hong Kong serves as the link between food companies with surplus food, and charities with people in need.
  2. We are Hong Kong’s sole accredited member of the Global FoodBanking Network.
  3. We collect surplus nutritious food donated by manufacturers, growers, processors, distributors and retailers.
  4. Our charity partners are generally small and medium-sized NGOs. They include senior centres, crisis shelters, central kitchens, after school programmes, community food banks, and other non-profit programmes that provide food to those in need.
  5. The Feeding Hong Kong warehouse is 11,500 square feet, that’s the size of TWO basketball courts.
  6. The warehouse includes a walk-in fridge freezer which allows us to store fresh and frozen produce.
  7. Each month we rescue, sort and redistribute 60 tonnes of food. 
  8. 250,000 meals are supported per month.
  9. Feeding Hong Kong has 23 staff, 85+ volunteers per week, 13,500 volunteer hours per year.
  10. We own 4 vans that are used to collect and deliver food, they are often driven by volunteers.
  11. We have over 420 food donors, 150+ charity partners and more than 230 community partners.
  12. We run a twice-weekly Bread Run that collects surplus bread, pastries etc. from bakeries all over Hong Kong at closing time, which is then sorted and collected by charities the following morning.

The Food Waste Hierarchy

The food waste hierarchy (sometimes called the food recovery, or food use hierarchy) focuses on delivering the best environmental option for dealing with food waste. ‘Prevention’ through reducing food waste at the source is therefore at the top of the inverted pyramid as the best option, and at the bottom, the worst option is ‘disposal’ via landfill or incineration. The principle of the framework is to keep food products at the highest tier possible, redefining waste as a potential resource rather than as an unwanted burden.

INERACTIVE ACTIVITIES

Starter Activities

 Crossword  
  • Write down all the words that come to mind when you think of food banking.
  • Choose 8-10 of them and create a simple crossword.
  • You can use various methods for your clues such as definitions, anagrams, riddles etc.
Who do food banks help?
  • What is the purpose of food banks?
  • What sort of people do you think need help from them?
  • Do people need food banks for a short time only? 
  • If so, what reasons might lead them to need support from a food bank?
Brainstorm
  • Do all food banks operate in the same way?
  • What different food banking models might there be?
Food Banks: Fact or Fiction?
  • Go through the list of statements in the resources and decide if each is true or false.
    KEY SKILLS
    • Brainstorming
    • Collaboration
    • Creativity
    • Communication
    TEACHING IDEAS

    Use these activities to introduce the topic and get students thinking and as a springboard to the main activities.

    Encourage students to work together to share their knowledge. Students could start by working in pairs and then come together in groups to put their ideas together before sharing them with the whole class.

    The Fact or Fiction exercise focuses on what the students already know about food banks. The link to the Answer sheet is below.
    This would be a good warm-up activity before Activity 2.

     

    Main Activities

    1. Discussion: The Food Waste Hierarchy 

     

    • Research the different methods of dealing with waste in the Food Waste Hierarchy.
    • The Future Learn article in the Resources divides the hierarchy into 5 categories: Prevention, Reuse, Recycling, Recovery and Disposal.
    • Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each.
    • What obstacles might there be at each level?
    • Prepare a short presentation explaining the Food Waste Hierarchy.
    RESOURCES
    CURRICULUM LINKS
    • Social Sciences
    • Geography & Environmental Systems
    • English Language
    • Economics
    KEY SKILLS
    • Collaboration
    • Research Skills
    • Presentation Skills
    • Analysis
    TEACHING IDEAS

    This activity would work well in groups with the group working together to research the hierarchy.

    For the presentation there are 2 options:

      1. Students divide the hierarchy up between them to present within their groups.
      2. Each group is assigned one level of the hierarchy and they present to the rest of the class.

    2. Write a Report

    • The Industrial Uses and Composting sections of the Food Waste Hierarchy fall under the categories of  Recycling and Recovery.
    • Research the different methods of dealing with food waste in these categories such as:
      • Anaerobic digestion
      • Food waste de-watering
      • Composting
    • Write a report on the benefits and disadvantages of each.
    RESOURCES
    CURRICULUM LINKS
    • Social Sciences
    • Geography & Environmental Systems
    • English Language
    • Economics
    • Engineering
    KEY SKILLS
    • Report Writing
    • Language of Compare and Contrast
    • Research Skills
    TEACHING IDEAS

    The research can be done in groups, however, students should write the reports individually.

    *There is a good lesson plan on Anaerobic Digestion on the Teach Engineering website that could be used as an extension or a specific Engineering lesson.

    3. Debate

      • Think about the following statements and decide how you feel about them. Discuss the statements with your classmates and be prepared to explain and justify your views.

      Food banks are only there to support people in a time of crisis.

      Food banks are a negative influence because people become reliant on them and don’t learn to support themselves.

      Food banks should be run mostly by volunteers, not salaried staff.

      Food banks are powerful symbols of the prevalence of poverty and food insecurity in affluent countries.

      CURRICULUM LINKS
      • English Language 
      • Economics
      • Social Studies
      • Individuals and Society
      • PSHE and Citizenship
      KEY SKILLS
      • Persuasive Language
      • Public Speaking
      • Critical Thinking
      • Expressing Opinions
      TEACHING IDEAS

      There are many options on how to hold a debate in your classroom including the two examples below.

      Hold a 4 Corner Debate – Students choosing to Strongly Agree / Agree / Disagree / Strongly Disagree with the statements.

      Continuum Line: Have students stand along the line in the middle of the classroom according to how much they agree or disagree with each statement.

      4. Analyse Food Banking Models

      • Research different food banking models in different countries, including Feeding Hong Kong.
      • What are the biggest differences between the various models?
      • Feeding Hong Kong is a charity that supports other charities. Why do you think Feeding Hong Kong operates on a B2B model?
      • Are there food banks that operate differently in Hong Kong?
      • Write a list of the benefits of the Feeding Hong Kong food bank model.
      CURRICULUM LINKS
      • Economics
      • Social Studies
      • Businesss Studies
      KEY SKILLS
      • Business Analysis
      • Research Skills
      TEACHING IDEAS

      A class discussion on how food banks work would lead in well to students working in groups researching different food banks and their models.

      Students then re-group and explain their food bank and its model to their new group.

      Finish the activity with a whole-class discussion on the benefits of different models and why some work better than others in different countries/situations.

       

      5. Write a Business Plan

      • What is the role of a food bank in the community?
      • What factors contribute to the need for a food bank?
      • What are the different business models used by food banks?
      • What other food sharing business models can you think of?
      • How do they differ from food banks?
      • Write a business plan for either a new food bank or a food sharing business.
      RESOURCES

      Web Links and Articles

      Toolbox

      CURRICULUM LINKS
      • Social Studies
      • Business Studies
      • Economics
      KEY SKILLS
      • Business Skills

      • Problem Solving

      • Collaboration

      TEACHING IDEAS

      This activity is best done after Activity 4 as it allows students to research and examine how food banks are structured.

      Students work in groups to come up with a business plan together.

       

      6. Write a Story

        • Imagine what situations in your life might lead you to be in a position of poverty and insecurity.
        • How might you end up needing the services of a food bank?
        • How would you feel in this situation?
        • Use these questions to write a story about someone who needs help to get enough food to eat. How did they get here? Is it temporary, or an on-going situation? What does their future hold?
        • Think about what point of view you will use and how you will tell your story.
        RESOURCES

        Web Links and Articles

        CURRICULUM LINKS
        • English Language
        • English Literature
        • Social Studies
        • Individuals and Society
        KEY SKILLS
        • Creative Writing
        • Narrative Point of View
        • Appropriate Use of Language and Tone
        TEACHING IDEAS

        Have students work in groups to discuss the topic.

        Discuss narrative point of view. How will that affect the way the story is told?

        Ask a few students to share their stories. Use these stories to begin a discussion about how people can find themselves needing help.

        7. Food Drive Poster

          • Imagine you are holding a food drive and want to advertise it with a poster (you can use the poster from a real food drive if you do the School Action activity below).
          • What food is needed in Hong Kong, how will you find out?
          • What items are not appropriate and why?
          • Write a list of items that are needed and those not accepted.
          • How will you encourage people to donate the appropriate items on the poster?
          RESOURCES

          Toolbox

          CURRICULUM LINKS
          • Art and Design
          • Social Studies
          KEY SKILLS
          • Problem Solving
          • Creativity
          • Collaboration
          TEACHING IDEAS

          Encourage students to be as creative as possible whilst making sure they include all the important information.

          Have students work together to decide on the poster’s content, then have them work independently or in pairs on the design.

          8. Write a Letter to the Editor

            • Write a ‘Letter to the Editor’ of the Guardian Newspaper in response to the following quote made by British politician Dominic Raab.

            The typical user of a food bank is not someone that’s languishing in poverty, it’s someone who has a cash flow problem episodically.

            • Why do you think Mr Raab said this?
            • Is he correct, did he make a mistake, is he telling the truth?
            • Are people right to criticise him for it or are they taking it out of context and using it for political gain?
            • How do you feel about what he said, do you agree or disagree with him?
            • Choose one point of view and write a letter defending or criticising Mr Raab.
            • Be prepared to justify your opinion.
            CURRICULUM LINKS
            • English Language
            • Politics
            • Individuals and Society
            • PSHE and Citizenship
            KEY SKILLS
            • Letter Writing
            • Language of Persuasion
            • Defending a Position
            TEACHING IDEAS
            • Provide students with some examples of ‘Letters to the Editor’ from both local and international newspapers, or have them find some online in the classroom.

            9. Create a pamphlet

              • Make a pamphlet that could be used by one of Feeding Hong Kong’s charity partners to give information to people who may be thinking of volunteering.
              • Make the pamphlet visually appealing.
              • Provide information about what the organisation does with the food it receives from the Feeding Hong Kong.
              • Talk about the impact this has on peoples lives.
              • Tell people how they can get involved.
              CURRICULUM LINKS
              • Art & Design
              • Social Studies
              • English Language
              KEY SKILLS
              • Creativity
              • Design 
              • Problem Solving
              • Informative Writing
              TEACHING IDEAS

              Students work in groups to decide on the content necessary for the pamphlet. They can then work individually or in pairs.

              10. Write a song parody

              • Watch Global Citizens parody of Ed Sheeran’s ‘Shape of You’.
              • Discuss why Global Citizen created this parody video to help stop the wasting of food in our world.
              • Write a parody of a well known song with the intention of getting people to volunteer at a food bank or similar organisation.

              Extension

              • Make a video of your song.
              RESOURCES
              CURRICULUM LINKS
              • Art & Design
              • Music
              KEY SKILLS
              • Creativity
              • Song Writing
              • Video Production
              TEACHING IDEAS

              Students can work in pairs or small groups.

              11. Make a Crossword

              • Using words from the Glossary related to all the modules, make a crossword.  
              • Use the crossword grid in the Resources to help structure the crossword.
              • You can use a variety of clue types such as anagrams, definitions, cryptic clues, hidden words etc.
              RESOURCES
              CURRICULUM LINKS
              • English Language
              KEY SKILLS
              • Vocabulary
              • Problem Solving
              • Creativity
              TEACHING IDEAS
              • Have students work in small groups and then swap crosswords to solve them.

              12. Design an App for Food Sharing

              • Foodsharing Apps are increasing in number and popularity. Have a look at the different ones that already exist, there is a wide selection in the Resources.
              • Design an app that will help one or more businesses redistribute surplus food.
              • Who will the end-user of the rescued food be?
              • What features will your app include?
              • What platform will you use?
              CURRICULUM LINKS
              • Design and Technology
              • Business Studies
              KEY SKILLS
              • Creativity

              • Problem Solving

              • Technical Design

              TEACHING IDEAS

              13. Roleplay Interviews: A Day in the Life of Feeding Hong Kong

              • Make a list of the roles of people who work at Feeding Hong Kong, they can be permanent staff, interns, volunteers etc.
              • Divide into groups, each group taking one role.
              • Research what is involved in that role.
              • Prepare interview questions for the person or persons you wish to interview in that role.
              • Roleplay your interviews in your groups, imaging what the responses might be to your questions.

              Extension:

              • Interview the actual staff of Feeding Hong Kong, either in person, over the phone or send them your questions to answer.
              • How different were their answers to your imagined ones?
              • What have you learnt about working/volunteering in a food bank?
              RESOURCES

              FHK Resources 

              CURRICULUM LINKS
              • Business Studies
              • Language
              • Creative Writing
              KEY SKILLS
              • Research
              • Collaboration
              • Creativity
              • Interview Skills
              TEACHING IDEAS
              • Student work in groups to research Feeding Hong Kong and then imagine what people do in their roles
              • As an extra extension for a creative class, you could have them write a drama about a Day in the Life of FHK

              14. Create a Video: What is Feeding Hong Kong?

              • Make a video introducing Feeding Hong Kong.

              • Include as much information as you think is necessary to raise awareness about the issues of food waste and food insecurity, and how Feeding Hong Kong is tackling them.

              • You can use diagrams, charts, images, interviews etc. You can integrate your video with PowerPoint, or just use your phone to video your presentation. 

              • Your video should aim to help raise awareness of Feeding Hong Kong, the issues they address and the work they do.

              CURRICULUM LINKS
              • Social Studies

              • Media Studies

              • English Language

              KEY SKILLS
              • Video Creation

              • Presentation Skills

              • Creativity

              TEACHING IDEAS

              This activity is a great way to round up all the work the students have done throughout the modules.

              Further Discussion

              1. What do you think are the biggest challenges when setting up a food bank?
              2. Why do more supermarkets not support food banks?
              3. Are food banks a good example of the gap between rich and poor?
              4. How important is it to treat people facing food insecurity with dignity?
              5. Should the Hong Kong Government be working to reduce the need for food banks, and if so, how? 
              food waste further discussion

              ACTION: WHAT YOU CAN DO

              At HOME

              Share Your Food

                • Go through all the food, in your kitchen.
                • Check the best before / sell-by / use-by / dates.
                • Decide what food is likely to be thrown away soon.
                • Contact your neighbours, explain that you are trying to cut down on the amount of food you waste.
                • Find out if anyone can use any of the food that you can’t.
                • Think of ways you can make this a regular event within your building, village, neighbourhood.
                • Can you create a WhatsApp/Facebook group etc to facilitate this?

                At SCHOOL

                Host a Food Drive

                  • Organise a Food Drive at your school.
                  • Create posters to advertise the Drive.
                  • Think of different ways you can get the message out (morning assembly, school newsletters, PTA Facebook page…).
                  • Think about what food is needed and what is not appropriate.
                  • Contact Feeding Hong Kong and tell them your plans.

                  Resources

                  FHK Host a Food Drive

                  IN THE COMMUNITY

                  Organise a
                  Disco Soup Party

                  • A “Disco Soup Party” is all about using leftovers and doesn’t have to involve soup at all! It is a fun way to bring people together while using up surplus food. You don’t have to make soup, you could make pizza, or any type of food as long as it’s mostly using up surplus food. You can make it large or small, indoors or outdoors, with your whole community, or just with friends.
                  • Design an invitation online or through flyers and word of mouth.
                  • Tell people to bring their own bowls etc.
                  • Collect surplus food and recruit  volunteers.
                  • Use the event to raise awareness, prevent food waste and build community by feeding each other.

                    Resources

                    Feeding the 5000: Disco Chop Toolkit
                    Eden Project: Run a Disco Soup Event
                    Video: How to host your own Disco Soup

                      Want to do More?

                      • Research different charities in your local area.
                      • Would you like to help a particular sector of society, such as children, seniors, refugees, women?
                      • Make a list of charities you would like to volunteer at.
                      • Contact your chosen charities and ask if they have any volunteer opportunities

                      Resources

                      • Set up a Feeding Hong Kong Club at your school and organise activities to raise awareness on food waste and hunger.

                      • If you already have an Environmental Club or Committee at your school, maybe this could be a subsection of that.

                      Resources

                      How to Start an Environmental Club at Your School
                      Tips for Starting and Maintaining an Environmental Club

                      • Sign up as volunteers to help us collect surplus bread from bakeries every Tuesday and Thursday evening.  This is a great way to get your family involved in saving food that would otherwise end up in a landfill, going instead to feed people in need.

                        • Register to become a bread runner today. You can sign up as an individual or a pair.

                        • Choose 1-2 stores in the area of your choice.

                        • On the night, turn up at your chosen store(s) at closing time, pick up the surplus bread and deliver it to our warehouse.

                        Resources