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Taiwan joins global food bank

Network aims to balance oversupply against underfeeding

Jeffrey Klein, Global FoodBanking Network president, at the launch Jeffrey Klein, Global FoodBanking Network president, at the launch
  • Francis Kuo, Taipei
  • Taiwan
  • October 3, 2012
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Taiwan has joined the Global FoodBanking Network, becoming its 24th member country.

Speaking at a launch event earlier this week, David Liu, chairman of the Taiwan People’s Food Bank Association, said it "will work with government, enterprises and NGOs to integrate food supplies from around the world to help the poor, so as to achieve the aim of no wasting of resources and no hunger in Taiwan.”

Philip Chen, secretary-general of the association, said, “We are connecting the Catholic Church and other religions to act together so that they can be more effective in providing food to the needy, especially poor children and elderly living alone.”

Chen also pointed out some of the advantages of joining the global network, which include the ability to make use of existing infrastructures. “A multinational corporation like Carrefour can make donations from its French headquarters and distribute them through its Taiwan branches easily,” he said.

He also called on food makers and retailers to donate food that has lost its commercial value but is still safe to consume.

The association established a food bank in Taichung in partnership with the Red Cross and city government in August. It is now setting up warehouses across Taiwan.

Jeffrey Klein, president of the US-based Global FoodBanking Network, was also at the event.

“Each year, the death toll from hunger and related diseases exceeds that of AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined,” he said.

“There is enough food to feed every person but a great deal of farm produce and processed food is not consumed. Oversupply leads to unnecessary waste while undersupply lead to hunger that should not happen. Balancing these two extreme social problems is our aim.”

The first Food Bank was set up in Arizona, USA, in 1967. It began to expand worldwide in the 1980s and its global network was formed in 2006.

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