Feeding Hong Kong’s Volunteer & Education Manager, Andric Li, shares his thoughts on the importance of volunteers in fighting food waste and hunger in Hong Kong.
As someone who has worked closely with volunteers for many years, Andric explains here how volunteers can help to rescue surplus food and deliver it to those in need. Read on to learn more about our volunteer program and how you can get involved.
I joined the Feeding Hong Kong Bread Run 2.0 program in Tsuen Wan last year for the first time. We collected surplus bread from bakeries and restaurants in the area and delivered it to a nearby charity, where many elderly people were already lining up when we arrived. The staff there explained that many of them lived alone and struggled to make ends meet; relying on the organisation’s food assistance program for meals.
Government data shows that around 3,400 tonnes of food are sent to landfills in Hong Kong every day — the equivalent to the weight of a double-decker bus every six minutes. Hong Kong often portrays itself as an affluent city where no one needs to go hungry but, in reality, life here is quite different. Many people throw away bread easily but for some, it is all they have for dinner. Imagine: if no one had collected that bread at the end of the day, it would have been sent to a landfill, and everybody lining up would have gone to bed with an empty stomach.
I have worked in the social welfare sector since graduation and have always hoped to serve the community. I love that my job makes a difference and interacting with the people I help gives me great joy — “life can influence life.” Working at a food bank allows me to make a real impact on others. Even a short conversation with a child can change the way they think about food. As the Volunteer & Education Manager, I regularly experience first-hand the positive impact our volunteers have. In 2022, our volunteers served over 15,000 hours or the equivalent of 1,875 working days.
As the Volunteer & Education Manager, I have seen many positive impacts brought by our volunteers. In the past year, our volunteers have served over 15,000 hours, equivalent to 1,875 working days. Every contribution, no matter how small, adds up and can make a significant positive impact on society.
Volunteering at a food bank not only allows participants to see a different Hong Kong, experience the severity of food waste, and the need for food assistance in the community, but it also gives them a sense of purpose and fulfillment by contributing something meaningful to the society. Feeding Hong Kong’s volunteers are the true heart of this organisation. They selflessly contribute their time and energy to support our mission, and we try to make sure they feel valued, too. We regularly review our volunteer registration process, and try to provide the “best customer experience” for them, as we understand that their time is precious.
In recent years, we’ve also been working hard to strengthen our cooperation with the community. We provide educational talks for companies, schools, and institutions to raise public awareness of food waste. We promote a community volunteer culture and hope we can encourage more people to reduce food waste effectively even in their own daily lives — every little bit counts.
Whether you are available for a few hours, a month or can commit to a more regular schedule, we welcome volunteers of all ages and backgrounds. We have a variety of positions available! As a volunteer driver, you can help deliver and collect surplus food from various locations across Hong Kong. If Marie Kondo is more your jam, becoming a warehouse assistant might be ideal. You could even graduate to a volunteer leader and train other volunteers in our systems and activities if you enjoy educational work.
We are also always looking for new ideas and ways to rescue surplus food, so all suggestions are welcomed! Whether you have experience in social media, event planning, or fundraising, we can’t wait to receive your ideas.
Learn more about some immediately available opportunities on our Volunteer Page.
Follow our social media channels!