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SLW visits food bank (with photos)

     The Secretary for Labour and Welfare, Mr Matthew Cheung Kin-chung, visited the service centre of Food For All today (March 15) to gain a better understanding of the short-term food assistance service offered, in particular the newly introduced food and meal coupons for service users to redeem at designated shops, supermarkets and restaurants.

     The Food For All project is funded by the Social Welfare Department and operated by the Tung Wah Group of Hospitals.

     Mr Cheung was first briefed by the staff of the centre about the service. He then visited a meat stall in a wet market and a café in Tai Kok Tsui where food/meal coupons are redeemable. He chatted with the meat stall keeper and café operators on the use of coupons and thanked them for the support they rendered to the food bank that enabled service users to get fresh food or hot meals.

     The short-term food assistance service was launched with government funding in 2009. The Social Welfare Department has commissioned five non-governmental organisations to operate the service at more than 400 service points throughout the territory.  

     Up to the end of January this year, 75 000 persons including low-income earners (40 per cent), the unemployed (23 per cent), individuals or families encountering sudden changes and facing immediate financial hardship (17 per cent) and new arrivals (11 per cent) have benefited from the service.

     At the end of last year, the Government allocated an additional $100 million for the continuation and enhancement of the services such as expanding the food variety and offering fresh food. The Government has reserved another $100 million for the future service needs.

Ends/Thursday, March 15, 2012
Issued at HKT 17:01


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