Fung Man-chung, Assistant Director of Social Welfare (Family and Child Welfare) (2nd from left), Sammy Chan, Head of Fresh Market Asset Management of The Link (middle), Dr Johnny Hon, Chairman of Lok Sin Tong Benevolent Society, Kowloon (2nd from right) and other officiating guests at the kick off ceremony.
|In order to promote healthy living and provide support to underprivileged families, The Link Management Limited (“The Link”) contributed HK$2 million to The Lok Sin Tong Benevolent Society, Kowloon (“Lok Sin Tong”) to support its Fresh Food Sponsorship Scheme. A presentation ceremony that included tenants of The Link who participated in the scheme was held on 16 January 2014 (Thursday). Fung Man-chung, Assistant Director of Social Welfare (Family and Child Welfare), officiated the ceremony and expressed his appreciation to the participating tenants.
Innovative Concept Provides Fresh Choices to Underprivileged Families
Unlike other food banks which focus on providing canned and prepared food, Lok Sin Tong startedits 6-month Fresh Food Sponsorship Scheme in May 2013 to provide fresh food to 500 low-income families in Tin Shui Wai and Tseung Kwan O. During the course of the scheme, each family was given a fresh food coupon worth HK$140 each week which could be redeemed for fresh food of the same value at The Link’s Tin Yiu Market and Hau Tak Market.
“At The Link, we believe sustainability is good for those around us and therefore good for our business,” said Sammy Chan, Head of Fresh Market Asset Management of The Link. “It is important that we continually ensure that the communities we operate in are also growing and improving. I would like to express my gratitude to all the participating tenants for giving a generous hand to support this scheme, which gives underprivileged families access to fresh food.”
Paul So, one of the caring tenants, said, “I am very delighted to have participated in this meaningful scheme to help low-income families and elderly people obtain fresh food, which is an important part of our everyday lives. This scheme not only improves the lives of the people in need by allowing them to eat better, but it also makes our work more meaningful.”
Dr Johnny Hon, Chairman of Lok Sin Tong Benevolent Society, Kowloon, said, “Usually food banks only offer short-term food assistance to people with financial difficulties by providing canned and prepared foods that do not supply the essential daily nutrients. With The Link’s support, this Fresh Food Sponsorship Scheme relieved the financial burden of underprivileged families and also provided sufficient nutrients to children and elderly residents of Tin Shui Wai and Tseung Kwan O, which were the two pilot areas covered by this scheme. It is our hope that the scheme can be extended to other districts to benefit more needy families.”
According to statistics, beneficiary families redeemed the fresh food coupons primarily for fresh pork (30% of total redemptions) and seafood (25%). Priscilla Lau, registered dietitian of Holistic Nutrition Consultants analysed the change in diet of the beneficiary families who participated in this scheme, noting, “One of the beneficiary families consumed only one kind of vegetable and meat prior to participating in the scheme. This lack of variety and quantity can hinder children’s development due to an insufficient intake of protein. After using the fresh food coupons, the family was able to add one more fresh meat or fish dish to their daily meals, which not only enhanced food variety and quantity, but also enabled the intake of fresh food, providing quality protein and improving the family’s entire diet.”
The Lee family is another family that participated in the Fresh Food Sponsorship Scheme. With a monthly income of only HK$5,000, the Lees reported that this scheme greatly helped as it provided them with a greater variety of nutritious foods, including vegetables and fruits for their children.
Michael Lam, the famous food critic, also attended the ceremony and shared his professional tips on selecting ingredients and cooking.