01 Feb 2015

Bringing Surplus Food from Fresh Markets to the Needy

 The Link Together Initiatives becomes a key sponsor of ‘Linking Food With Love – From the Golden Age to the Greens’ Surplus Food Donation Project
The Link Management Limited (The Link) today announced its sponsorship of ‘Linking Food with Love - From the Golden Age to the Greens’ Surplus Food Donation Project, organised by the World Green Organisation (WGO).
Supported by ‘The Link Together Initiatives’, the scheme aims at transforming wasted food into food for the needy, focusing on the fruits and vegetables discarded daily by two fresh markets operated by The Link, much of which are still edible.
To prepare for the project, WGO analysed the quantities of wasted food and municipal waste in the participating markets. Between November 2014 and January 2015, the wasted food was classified into edible and nonedible categories, while those classed as edible were further divided into four subcategories: vegetable, meat, seafood, and miscellaneous. 30%–40% of the edible, wasted food donated by the stall owners included cole crops, vegetables with poor presentation, unsold vegetables, and other processed food. (Please refer to the table below for more detailed information.) 
B.C. Lo, Director of Corporate Communications and External Relations at The Link, said: “Our fresh markets are an effective platform for implementing surplus food collection and donation. Hence, The Link is playing a crucial role in ensuring that edible food is not wasted. In addition to funding the WGO project, The Link renders its full support to the programme by encouraging tenants to participate through utilising the venues we offer for collection of redistributable food. We hope that by supporting this kind of community programme, we are able to help the needy, reduce wasted food, alleviate the burden on our landfills, and promote sustainable development in Hong Kong.”
WGO also hopes to strengthen communications between different generations by teaming up persons aged 16-29 with elderly members of the community as united volunteers for this one-year project. Food collected from Shek Lei Market and H.A.N.D.S Market will be given to the elderly and families in need. ‘Upcycling Green Workshops’ will also be held by the youngsters to build strong interrelationships with the elderly, while equipping the elderly volunteers with skills to help others.
Dr William Yu, CEO of WGO, said: “It is a waste that food that is still edible is sent to the landfill. The greenhouse gas generated by this wasted food in the landfill also accelerates global warming. This project implements wasted food reduction at the source, and effective use of resources. Inter-generational harmony is also promoted as families in need get support.” He also remarked that, to alleviate the pressure on landfills, stall owners may wish to donate their unsold vegetables before they rot.
A comparison of the food waste quantities between Shek Lei and H.A.N.D.S Markets:
Shek Lei Market:
Total Wasted Food = 962kg (100%)
Nonedible vegetables and fruits = 178kg (19%)
Nonedible Meat = 136kg (14%)
Nonedible fish and seafood = 72kg (7%)
Edible vegetables and fruits = 384kg (40%)
Edible food except the above = 192kg (20%)
H.A.N.D.S Market:
Total Wasted Food = 457kg (100%)
Nonedible vegetables and fruits = 101kg (22%)
Nonedible Meat = 107kg (24%)
Nonedible fish and seafood = 111kg (24%)
Edible vegetables and fruits = 138kg (30%)
Edible food except the above = 0kg (0%)
Remarks: A large proportion of meat, fish and seafood collected are classified as edible, such as internal organs, bones, etc.
Key details of the ‘Linking Food with Love – From the Golden Age to the Greens’ Surplus Food Donation Project:
Volunteers needed: 30
Target participants: Donation team – Persons aged 16-29, and the elderly, Donation targets – The elderly, and families in need
Surplus food collection stations: H.A.N.D.S and Shek Lei Markets of The Link
Duration of the programme: December 2014 to October 2015
Details:Forming a food donation team, and encouraging greengrocers to donate food; Regularly collecting surplus food from fresh markets and donating it to the needy; Organising ‘Upcycling Green Workshops’ for elderly members of the community; Assisting the ‘World Food Day’ campaign to promote the concept of food waste reduction to the public.
For further information, please visit: https://thewgo.org/website/eng/news/fooddonation/


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