The Lunch Club

27 Mar

Hong Kong low-income workers’ salaries do not reach the poverty line and despite their monthly incomes, they are unable to be self-reliant and to support their family in their most basic needs. Today, about 154 700 households, representing 517 100 people, are recognized as ‘low-income’, accounting for 53.2% of the total poor population.
– The poverty line set up in 2013 for a 4 person’s household represents a monthly income of less than HK$ 15,400.
– 24.7% of the low-income workers are part-time or under-employed (compared to 8.8% of Hong Kong’s overall working population).
– 88.7% of the low-income workers are lower-skilled and over one third has no secondary education.
– The poorest spend half of their monthly budget on food but still can’t afford a nutritional balanced diet.

lunch clubWhat can we do to help them? The French Chamber Foundation has created the Lunch Club. Located in the heart of Wanchai and operated by Baptist Oi Kwan Social Service, the Lunch Club welcomes low income workers 5 days a week serving dietician-supervised meals for a low cost of HK$10. The rest of the cost (around HK$30) is subsidised by the Foundation.

The philosophy behind the Lunch Club stems from the following observations:
– Low income workers tend to spend less money for their lunch and, as a consequence, they eat non balanced food, mostly poor in nutrients.
– Social workers only have rare opportunity to connect with low income workers and to discuss their real needs.
– Many low income workers are not aware of the welfare and career support they could be entitled to.
– Many low income workers have low educational attainment and their lack of skills prevents them from any chance to move up the ladder.

Moreover, the hot meal canteen serves as an important entry point for social workers to connect with the Lunch Club members, identify their needs and help them make progress in their working career and consequently be able to improve their livelihood.

The Lunch Club serves 250 meals, and welcomes more than 100 workers every week.

What can you do to help? The Lunch Club welcomes volunteers over lunch time to help serve meals and meet its members or to take part in talks and activities.

Or you can make a donation to The French Chamber Foundation, or make an in kind donation of
– personal care products
– food supplies, and
– services

If interested, do not hesitate to send an email to The French Chamber Foundation Limited at email for further information.

About The French Chamber Foundation Limited:
The French Chamber Foundation is a project by the French business community to give back to the city that nurtured its prosperity. It has been created at the initiative of the French Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Hong Kong.

The Foundation focuses its efforts on areas critical to the working population of Hong Kong: children and youth, low income workers, families and communities and improving the life environment in Hong Kong.

The French Chamber Foundation focuses its work on alleviating poverty in Hong Kong and has particularly at heart the situation of low income workers and their families.


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