In Hong Kong many low-income people cannot afford a balanced and nutritious diet, especially the underprivileged elderly who require soft food that can be easily swallowed. A study shows that 60% of elderly in residential homes and 40% of those receiving day care support services experience varying degrees of swallowing difficulties. To address this need, The Hong Kong Jockey Club has approved a donation of HK$290 million through its Charities Trust to the Bo Charity Foundation to construct the Food Angel Jockey Club Food Production Centre in Sha Tin. Expected to commence operation in the first half of 2025, the centre will become Hong Kong’s largest food rescue and production centre for charitable food assistance, increasing production capacity from around 3 million to over 9 million meals per year, serving over 36,000 disadvantaged people.
A foundation stone laying ceremony for the centre was held today (15 November), officiated by the Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region John Lee, Secretary for Development Bernadette Linn, The Hong Kong Jockey Club Chairman Michael Lee, Food Angel Chairman Antony Leung and other guests.
Speaking at the ceremony, Club Chairman Michael Lee said the centre will not only enable Food Angel to provide food assistance to more underprivileged citizens, especially the elderly, but will also reinforce the importance of food waste reduction and environmental sustainability through community engagement activities. All of this aligns with the Club’s purpose of acting continuously for the betterment of our society.
In its first three years, the three storey Food Angel Jockey Club Food Production Centre will also provide around 3.3 million “Care Food” meals for around 15,000 disadvantaged senior citizens with different levels of swallowing difficulties. “Care Food” refers to a diet prepared for people with chewing or swallowing difficulties, including pureed food generally known as “soft food”. The centre will be equipped with various green features and will be supported by a smart supply chain management system to reduce food waste.
Additionally, Food Angel will organise classes for family carers and NGO staff to learn to prepare “Care Food”. Over a three year period, it aims to recruit 32,000 volunteers to help with food production and to organise 100 tours and workshops for over 3,000 community members to learn more about “Care Food” and food waste.
The Club has been working closely with Food Angel since 2013. This includes contributing to the operating costs of its edible food collection and producing nutritious meals for the underprivileged, which is run in collaboration with other NGOs, and supporting the establishment of its Sham Shui Po kitchen. During the pandemic, the Club partnered with Food Angel to launch its Automated Food Dispenser Service under the Jockey Club Food Assistance Programme. This innovative initiative facilitates flexible collection of cook-chill meals, providing timely food assistance to people in need.
The Club’s support for Food Angel, like all of its charity donations, is made possible by its unique integrated business model through which racing and wagering generate employment, tax and charity support for the community.