People’s Food Bank

2 Jul

logo_foodbankThe office of the People’s Food Bank is located at Sai On Centre, Sai Ying Pun. It was originally a relief centre for street sleepers. It went into operation on 24 March 1997 and is still providing services for street sleepers on Hong Kong Island today.

All along, the centre has been providing food for street sleepers and emergency food supplies for the poor to relieve their hunger. After the financial crisis of 1998, the issue of poverty worsened in Hong Kong. A UN report on human development pointed out that in terms of the gap between the rich and the poor, Hong Kong ranked number 3 in developed areas of the whole world and number 1 in developed areas of Asia. The SAR Government reduced the Comprehensive Social Security Assistance (CSSA) for the first time in June 1999. This caused further hardship to those who relied on the SAR Government for their livelihood. With the economic downturn and high rate of unemployment, the number of street sleepers shot up. The number of referrals to this centre for food assistance continued to increase.

In November 2002, with the help of Food Link, the centre obtained leftovers from a hotel. The food collected, combined with vegetables, provided food for the stomachs of 12 people on average every day. In 2003 when SARS was ravaging the territory, the hotel stopped the supply of food. The free food service offered by the centre was temporarily suspended. Fortunately, a donation made by a Mr Li meant that the service could be relaunched. The daily quota for meal service increased from 12 to 24. Thereafter, the number of people asking for food assistance kept on increasing. As a result, St. James’ Settlement formally established the People’s Food Bank on 13 December 2003, providing the poor with temporary free food assistance.

The People’s Food Bank only receives a small amount of subsidies from the SAR Government. Most of the food, money, tools and equipment are donated by benefactors. The People’s Food Bank main task is the collection of food and monetary donations. Their partner agencies in various districts in turn deliver the food to the poor.

Their Mission: The People’s Food Bank’s mission is to provide food to people in need on a short-term and weekly basis, relieve hunger and to promote social cohesion through encouraging people to share resources with those less fortunate than themselves.

Volunteering: If the People’s Food Bank is to provide food to Hong Kong people in need on a short-term and weekly basis, they need your helping hands in this collective effort to help the poor of Hong Kong. Volunteer services needed include:
peoples food bank– Food Drive / Fund-raising
– Re-packing Food
– Visiting
– Logistics
– Editing & Publishing
– Research / Survey
– Translation
– Volunteer of planning & Organization

And children & youth volunteers are also welcome.

For more information and to download their volunteer application form, please visit their website.

SAMSUNGYou can also donate food. The dry food that the People’s Food Bank need is divided into two main categories, namely primary food and secondary food.
– Primary food refers to rice, noodles and canned food, e.g. luncheon meat, beans in tomato sauce, sardines, spicy diced pork, twice-cooked pork, dace in black bean sauce, etc.,that can constitute a full meal without requiring other foods.
– Secondary food generally refers to non-primary food and is used for nutritional supplements and fibres, e.g. oats, canned fruits, milk powder, condensed milk, biscuits, canned soup, etc.

Please visit their website for a list of food collection points.


3 Responses to “People’s Food Bank”

  1. Joshua Keefe August 9, 2013 at 4:48 am #

    Hi I would like to help with the peoples food bank.

    I’m Australian living in Hong Kong with a HK ID. I am not so good at administration but good with my hands.

    Please let me know.



    • hongkongvolunteer August 12, 2013 at 10:47 am #

      Hi thanks very much for getting in touch. This blog is there to introduce you to the various charities offering volunteer opportunities in Hong Kong. If you are interested in volunteering with any of them, you need to get in touch with them directly.

      In the case of the People’s Food Bank please visit their volunteer page, and click on the link to download their volunteer application form.

      Good Luck!


  1. Unwanted Christmas presents? Give to charity | Volunteering in Hong Kong - December 11, 2017

    […] Food Bank Too many chocolates, cookies, unwanted Christmas hampers? Donate to the People’s Food Bank. Run by local charity St. James’ Settlement they provide temporary food assistance to the poor. […]

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