The Hong Kong Jockey Club announced today (14 March) the expansion of the Jockey Club Food Assistance Programme, with an additional 30,000 low-incomed people to benefit from its E-Food Bank. This brings to over 126,000 people the Club is providing food assistance to in response to the pandemic.
"Many people are suffering from unemployment, underemployment or are affected by quarantine measures due to the fifth wave of the pandemic. Unfortunately some are struggling to feed themselves and their families," said the Club's Executive Director, Charities and Community, Leong Cheung. "Responding to this urgent need, the Club has expanded the coverage of its E-Food Bank. We hope this 'speedy', 'targeted' and 'innovative' service will provide much-needed support to families and individuals of the transitional poor. Together, we can overcome obstacles for the betterment of our society."
The E-Food Bank provides each beneficiary with a HK$400 credit each week to buy groceries online at HOME+ and foodpanda's pandamart service. The items will be delivered directly to beneficiaries to reduce the risk of transmission. Support will be provided for a minimum of four weeks. The food and drink items available have been selected with the advice of nutritionists and paediatricians with a focus on healthy, nutritious food. Further details can be found at the Jockey Club Food Assistance Programme website: https://jcfoodprog.hk
In addition to the E-Food Bank, the latest round of the Jockey Club Food Assistance Programme includes:
· Automated Food Dispensers – flexible distribution of cook-chill meals via automated food dispensers located across different districts
· Hot Meals – free hot meals for individuals and families whose living conditions are not suitable for cooking
Since the launch of the Jockey Club Food Assistance Programme in September 2020, The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust has donated HK$450 million to support short-term and long-term food assistance measures, providing over five million meals to people in need.
Funded and initiated by the Club's Charities Trust, the Jockey Club Food Assistance Programme is organised by St. James' Settlement together with five project partners: Food Angel, Food For Good, Po Leung Kuk, Hong Kong Women Development Association Limited and Tung Wah Group of Hospitals. The programme is run in collaboration with foodpanda and HOME+. A multidisciplinary team from The Chinese University of Hong Kong and Hong Kong Paediatric Foundation provides research support and nutritional advice.
The Club's support for this programme, like all of its charity donations, is made possible by its unique integrated business model through which racing and wagering generate tax and charity support for the community.
On top of its continuing support for a broad range of community needs, the Club has approved over HK$1.7 billion in additional funding over the past two years to address the impact of the pandemic. Cumulatively over three million people have benefited. Adopting a 'speedy', 'targeted' and 'innovative' approach it has provided fast-track funding to meet urgent needs and collaborated with partners to devise new ways to reach out to and support the most vulnerable:
- First wave – meeting urgent needs of the disadvantaged, including through the launch of the COVID-19 Emergency Fund to provide fast-track grants to NGOs offering essential services; the distribution of anti-pandemic pack and care packs; and the provision of data plans and SIM cards to underprivileged students to support online learning during school closure periods.
- Second wave – preserving diversity and sustainability in the social, sports and arts sectors through the launch of the Community Sustainability Fund and support for the Hong Kong Arts Development Council's Scheme to develop digital and virtual programmes.
- Third and fourth waves – helping the community cope with the prolonged impact of the pandemic through the launch of the Jockey Club Facilities Enhancement Scheme for Pandemic Preparedness at Residential Care Homes; a food assistance programme for the food insecure; a talent development initiative to support first-time job seekers; and programmes targeting students, elderly singletons and doubletons, low-income families and ethnic minorities.
- Fifth wave – providing urgent support during the Omicron variant outbreak, including through the distribution of "LeaveHomeSafe" compatible smartphones and data plans to elderly people, and the injection of HK$100 million to the COVID-19 Emergency Fund. The latest round of community support includes providing Rapid Antigen Test Kits for NGOs, expanding services provided by NGO-operated Community Pharmacies, producing additional interactive educational learning kits, and installing high-efficiency air purifiers and HEPA filters in residential care homes.