Show your love and support for the city’s hungry with snaps of your heart-shaped food creations.
This month, we’ve got our eyes on student-led organisation Heart-to-Heart Hong Kong and its fundraising campaign aimed at fighting food poverty in the city. To support the low-income individuals and charities that have been struggling to cope with Hong Kong’s third wave, Heart-to-Heart HK has partnered with local charity Foodlink Foundation to raise money for food care packages that will be delivered directly to people in need through the organisation’s frontline charity partners.
Heart-to-Heart HK’s founder Belinda Ng wanted to do something to support these disadvantaged individuals, but the social distancing restrictions in the last couple of months made it difficult for her help directly. So, she decided to team up with 15 other students and start a virtual social media campaign to raise awareness and funds. We caught up with Belinda to learn more about the campaign and what we can do to help.
Tell us about the Heart-to-Heart 2020 campaign.
The one-month campaign started in August and will end on Sunday, 20 September. In this time, we are hoping to raise $20,000 through our Give Asia page to go directly towards Foodlink Foundation. In order to reach and engage a larger audience and raise awareness of the issue of food poverty in Hong Kong, we launched a social media challenge that people could take part in virtually, in a fun and creative way.
If you’d like to participate, all you have to do is arrange your food in the shape of a heart and upload a picture of your creation on Facebook or Instagram with the caption “Let’s fight against food poverty together! #hearttoheartfoodlink”. Remember to also tag us at @hearttohearthk2020, and tag five (or more!) of your friends in the post, inviting them to join the challenge. To thank you for your support, the most liked images will receive a mystery prize from our sponsors.
That’s not all we’re doing! We’ve also been recruiting student ambassadors to help create educational content about food poverty in Hong Kong, which we publish on our Facebook and Instagram accounts. We’re hoping this will allow more young people to learn about the issue and the severity of the problem.
In addition, we are also hosting a free online webinar on Friday, 18 September, from 8pm to 9pm, featuring four guest speakers who each have unique insights into the food poverty issue in Hong Kong. The webinar will touch on topics such as the root causes of food poverty, the role of technology in alleviating the problem and local charitable food support services.
If the social distancing restrictions allow, we plan to have a more hands-on involvement with the packaging and delivery of the food care packages that were donated by participants.
Why should people care?
Food insecurity in Hong Kong has been severely exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic and this has disproportionately affected society’s most vulnerable and low-income groups, including homeless individuals, families living in subdivided housing and the elderly. I spoke with a social worker at St James’ Settlement food bank and was told that these individuals have resorted to eating fewer meals or meals of lower nutritional value because they are unable to afford particular foods.
Charities who have been working hard to support these vulnerable groups during this time have also been affected by disrupted donations from partners, and I wanted to find a way to give them some support.
How can people help?
One way to help would be to donate to our online fundraiser. We’ve arranged it so that all donors have the chance to write a message to the beneficiary who will receive their care package, which we think adds a nice personal touch. We would also love for people to help spread the word about the issue by liking and sharing content from our social media pages, as well as participating in the heart-shaped food challenge.
Editor’s Note: Charities are constantly looking for volunteers, donations and support – and they need it now more than ever. To help them during this difficult time, we’re putting a spotlight on a different charity each month. If you’re a charity, or know of one that could use a shout-out, feel free to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll try our best to feature them in one of our upcoming Sassy Supports!
All images courtesy of Heart-to-Heart Hong Kong.