Starting with a small hot dog shop in Tsuen Wan in 2015, this spirited team of food and lifestyle enthusiasts has now expanded into Western and Chinese cuisine, and even wholesale baking facilities. True to its zest for passion and dreams, Zeppelin is not only dedicated to providing quality food to its customers but also working hard to reduce waste while supporting those in need. Their goal to redistribute surplus food to those in need aligns perfectly with Feeding Hong Kong’s mission. In the last year, Zeppelin has donated over 3.7 tonnes of bread, which supports more than 8,600 meals shared with vulnerable communities.

Zeppelin's co-founder, Joe in their warehouse

Joe, Co-founder of Zeppelin Hot Dog

One of Zeppelin’s co-founders, Joe, explained that as their business grew, they needed bakery facilities and systems which could handle a larger quantity of ingredients. However, to ensure the quality of food production and serving standards, it was inevitable that nearly 200 pieces of bread became waste daily. However, this bread was still perfectly safe for consumption, and discarding it would be a tremendous waste. Therefore, they proactively reached out to different organizations, hoping to reduce waste and help vulnerable communities by donating surplus food.

Joe admitted that they had tried collaborating with various smaller charities, but the bakery donated a substantial quantity of food daily. Most organizations could only handle the amount for a day or at most two weeks. Zeppelin chose to donate through Feeding Hong Kong, as we are able to handle larger donation quantities, and are able to offer refrigerated vehicles and freezers. With limited experience in food donation, Zeppelin were highly concerned about the entire cold chain logistics process, from collection by Feeding Hong Kong to distribution to beneficiaries. Initially, they closely followed the donation process daily, and Feeding Hong Kong colleagues took photos as records, allowing them to track the distribution of the food. These procedures ensure food safety and establish confidence in the donors.

Hot dog bread

Feeding Hong Kong provides regular reports to Zeppelin, allowing them to review and adjust their current production, further reducing waste at the source. However, Joe also shared that mechanized production inevitably results in some waste. Even though they have replaced equipment, achieving zero waste is challenging. In such situations, although many companies want to invest more resources in corporate social responsibility to reduce waste, they often struggle to find a starting point. In light of this, Joe emphasises, “The Food Bank connects food companies and beneficiaries. One needs to handle surplus food during the production process, while the other requires food assistance.”  Feeding Hong Kong bridges the gap between surplus and need.

Looking ahead, Zeppelin are considering how they will be affected by the Municipal Solid Waste Charging. They acknowledged that they would be affected by the scheme, and expenditure would undoubtedly increase. One of their approaches is continuously working with Feeding Hong Kong to handle the majority of food waste and redistribute it to people in the community who need it, indirectly reducing waste management expenses. On the other hand, they have also come up with some solutions to minimize waste, such as setting up a small shelf in the store to sell perishable items at discounted prices to the local community or considering menu adjustments to align with waste reduction. This reflects how different food companies and producers are actively making efforts to respond to the Municipal Solid Waste Charging.

Hot dog bread

Are you a food business with surplus food?

We collect high quality surplus food from farms, manufacturers, distributors and retailers, and redistribute it to local registered charities. Donating your surplus to feed people, not landfills, is cost and time effective, environmentally-friendly and benefits the community. Give us a call at 3643 0912 or email us at foodbank@feedinghk.org

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