The majority of the world’s hungry live in Asia, and the food-banking model is just taking hold. GFN President & Chief Executive Officer Lisa Moon and Director of Field Services Craig Nemitz recently made a trip to the region to learn more about food banking’s progress, and to re-certify three of its members. Read on for a snapshot of the incredible work being led by GFN food bank organizations in Shanghai, Australia, and South Korea.
Nourishing Children in Shanghai
It was just after the 2015 GFN Food Bank Leadership Institute when Eve Li started the Green Food Bank in Shanghai. Since then, the organization has grown to serve more than 79,000 people.
On Lisa and Craig’s recent trip, Eve showed them their growing warehouse and multiple distribution centers around Shanghai. The Green Food Bank is delivering monthly food boxes to seniors and families, packed with nutrients that they need most. And they are serious about putting their clients first – Green Food Bank uses its corporate volunteers to conduct satisfaction surveys among those receiving the food to make sure that what is provided complements current diets and is in line with local flavor profiles. Children attending migrant schools are some of these clients. To the left, you can see children from one such school, located on the outskirts of Shanghai, enjoying nutritious meals complements of Green Food Bank.
The work of Green Food Bank is only made possible through the generous support of government and businesses. While Lisa and Craig were in town, Grant Thornton China kindly hosted a reception with Green Food Bank and GFN’s multinational partners to feature its work on sustainability in Shanghai and beyond.
Green Food Bank applied for GFN membership in 2016 and is anticipated to officially join the network this year.
Forging Collaborative Supply Chain Programs in Australia
One in six Australians faces hunger, and Foodbank Australia is expanding rapidly so that doesn’t have to be the case. In 2016, Foodbank Australia provided 63 million meals in partnership with 2,400 charities in all seven Australian states. In spite of this incredible reach, there is far more work to be done. Foodbank Australia estimates that 43,000 people are turned away each month by its partner charities because they do not have enough food, and 14,600 of these people are children.
Foodbank Australia has pioneered creative and impactful approaches to securing healthy meals for the people it serves. Its collaborative supply chain program partners with industry and agricultural producers to ensure a predictable source of key staples. Its Healthy Food for All program in Western Australia gives kids and adults the tools they need to make nutritious food choices, no matter their income or where they are cooking their food. And with a new President & CEO with a background in agriculture and coalition building, Foodbank Australia is poised to make even greater strides in advancing its mission. All in all, Foodbank Australia has some of the most creative approaches our experts have seen in addressing food insecurity.
Foodbank Australia has been a GFN member since 2009.
Empowering Seniors in South Korea
The Korea National Foodbank, a part of the Korean National Council on Social Welfare (KNCSW), has been serving Korean’s facing hunger for more
than 20 years. The food bank has national reach, and caters especially to seniors.
The Korea National Food Bank is not just focused on delivering meals, but on holistically meeting the needs of the people it serves. From employment programs to social inclusion activities, the Korea National Food Bank looks to engage and empower its beneficiaries, giving them opportunities to productively participate in society. Below is a photo of Lisa and Craig learning how to make kimchi from a group of seniors served by the food bank. It’s clear that the Korean National Foodbank has mastered not only providing essential nutrition through food, but also in meeting the poor’s needs with dignity.
The Korea National Foodbank has been a GFN member since 2013.
“Given the hunger needs and fast growing food supply chains, food banking holds great promise in the Asia Pacific region,” said Lisa. “GFN looks forward to expanding our partnership with our colleagues in Shanghai, Sydney, Seoul, and throughout the Asia Pacific region.”