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Oxfam's Food Support Project for Low-Income Families

樂施會「慳得有營餸基層」計劃

Give A Meal: Oxfam's Food Support Project for Low-Income Families

When a crisis like the coronavirus hits, it’s the poorest who suffer most. Faced with financial pressure, many families cut food costs to save money; but this often translates into poor nutrition, especially for their children.

 

About Give A Meal: Oxfam's Food Support Project for Low-Income Families

 

In collaboration with Sharing Kitchen, Concerning CSSA and Low Income Alliance, Hong Kong Dietitians Association and United Christian Nethersole Community Health Service, we aim to provide 600 low-income families that have children with nutritious meal kits over two years in four batches. Each batch of families will receive four meal kits a week that are specifically designed and recommended by a dietitian for six months (providing a total of 62,400 packs over the two years). The dietitians will also equip families with basic knowledge on nutrition and healthy eating.
 

Project participants' sharing

Oxfam's Food Support Project for Low-Income Families


Project Objectives

Nutritious Meal Kits

  • We aim to provide 600 low-income families that have children with nutritious meal kits that are specifically designed and recommended by dietitians. Each family will receive a total of 104 meal kits for six months.

Knowledge Transfer

  • Each family will participate in one talk and three cooking classes to gain basic knowledge on nutrients requirements and healthy eating. Weekly nutrition feeds and recipes are shared online to keep them informed.

 

Job Opportunities

  • Each Given the current economic situation, part-time jobs were created for low-income women to help prepare the meal kits.

Everyone deserves a nutritious meal.

Donate today to support GIVE A MEAL: OXFAM’S FOOD SUPPORT PROJECT FOR LOW-INCOME FAMILIES!

Donate now

 

Making a one-off donation of $256, you will give one low-income family meal kits for four weeks.                 Making a one-off donation of $832, you will give one low-income family meal kits for three months.                   Making a one-off donation of $1,664, you will give one low-income family meal kits for six months. Making a one-off donation of $3,328, you will give two low-income families meal kits for six months.

 

Limited edition Oxfam x Le Petit Prince Silicone Collapsible Lunch Box

Limited edition Oxfam x Le Petit Prince Silicone Collapsible Lunch Box

Go green for Mother Earth! Proceeds will support more low-income families through Give A Meal: Oxfam's Food Support Project for Low-Income Families. 

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What Project Participants Are Saying 

Ah Kuen, a project participant

‘In the past, I cooked for the sake of the family, but now I have found joy in it!’

Ah Kuen, a project participant (right)

 

‘Do you like to cook?’ we asked.

‘Cooking used to tire me out,’ said Ah Kuen. ‘With the recipes and meal kits I’ve received from this project though, my son began to enjoy eating what I prepared. And I realised, this could be fun after all!’

Ah Kuen has a 12-year-old who was underweight two years ago. He was then referred to a hospital for further check-ups and the doctor told her to prepare more nutritious meals to improve her son’s health. Ah Kuen doubted whether she could afford to buy what was considered nutritious. And with the limited amount of space to cook at home and the rising price of food, she felt an overwhelming sense of helplessness because she felt like she was not providing enough for her family. 

In the past, Ah Kuen usually bought discounted fish and vegetables before the wet market closed. She knew incorporating meat into her cooking would improve her son’s appetite, but she could not afford to buy meat for every meal. 

Through this project though, which we are implementing in collaboration with several local partners, Ah Kuen now receives four meal kits a week specifically designed and recommended by dietitians. The dietitians took the rising food costs into consideration, so that even after the project ends, participants will know what affordable and nutritious ingredients they can buy.  

Talking about the dishes, Ah Kuen said that the sweet and sour fish she learnt to make has become her son’s favourite dish. Thinking back to the last time she made it, she couldn’t help but smile as she said, ‘He loves it so much that he asked if he could have the whole dish last time!’

With the recipes, cooking no longer troubles Ah Kuen. She’s seen positive changes in her son’s appetite and even finds joy in learning how to make new dishes. The changes she’s seen has led her to share the recipes with her family and friends and encourage them to make them.

‘I used to think healthy ingredients had to be pricy. But it turns out good ingredients don’t have to be that expensive!’ Ah Kuen shared. Through this project, she’s also learnt to read nutrition labels as well as what ingredients complement each other. With this knowledge, her cooking has become much more creative and nutritious.
 

Ah Kuen’s son’s favourite dish: Sweet and sour fish
Ah Kuen’s son’s favourite dish: Sweet and sour fish. (Photo provided by Ah Kuen)
All recipes and meal kits are designed and recommended by dietitians, and have a good balance of meat and vegetables.
All recipes and meal kits are designed and recommended by dietitians, and have a good balance of meat and vegetables. (Photo provided by Ah Kuen)

 

Wai Lan, a project partcipant

‘When my daughter eats now, she always says, ‘Mommy, yummy, yummy!’

Wai Lan, a project participant

 

Wai Lan’s husband – the breadwinner of the family – works 12-hour night shifts to support his family of three. Their rent and utility bills usually take up 60 per cent of the family’s income, so Wai Lan tries to cut costs in other areas of their lives. She even has to cut back on buying toys for her daughter – even ones that cost $10 because that’s money that could be spent on a meal; in fact, that’s what they spend, on average, on each meal. 

To save on food costs, Wai Lan walks to Pei Ho Street Market to buy groceries rain or shine, even if it takes her more time. ‘There is a market right around the corner from where I stay, but I would rather walk farther for better deals. Believe it or not, before the wet market closes, I can get three items for $10! Groceries usually cost me less than $100 and that food lasts us a few days.’

In the past, she was only able to cook simply and prepare the same dishes over and over again because Wai Lan’s daughter was a picky eater and they had very little space to cook. Soon after joining the project though, Wai Lan learnt new ways to mix and match different ingredients and is overjoyed whenever she sees how much everyone enjoys the healthy meals she now prepares. 

‘When my daughter eats now, she always gives me a thumbs up and says, “Mommy, yummy, yummy!”’ Wai Lan recounted excitedly. She now experiences a satisfaction she’s never had from cooking. 

The recipe for making steamed egg with cabbage and meat rolls impressed Wai Lan the most: ‘I’ve never thought of using oats to cook; it adds a lot of texture!’ The recipes and meal kits have inspired her to be creative with the ingredients she uses. With the pan-fried lotus root patty recipe suggested by dietitians, Wai Lan added in carrots and barley for more texture. With the hope of inspiring and encouraging others, she shares the recipes she’s received with family and friends. 

One of the main objectives of the project is to equip people  from low-income households with the skills and knowledge needed to cook nutritious and affordable meals. Wai Lan’s experience is a true testament to how empowering someone with knowledge can go a long way.

 

Posted on the refrigerator are the recipes the dietitians have put together that are attached to the meal kits. Wai Lan looks forward to receiving new recipes through the project as she finds them inspiring and easy to follow.
Posted on the refrigerator are the recipes the dietitians have put together that are attached to the meal kits. Wai Lan looks forward to receiving new recipes through the project as she finds them inspiring and easy to follow. (Photo: Adi Gunawan / Oxfam)
Two of Wai Lan’s favourite dishes. The novel way of wrapping meat rolls has also inspired her to modify the recipe for pan-fried lotus root patties.
Two of Wai Lan’s favourite dishes. The novel way of wrapping meat rolls has also inspired her to modify the recipe for pan-fried lotus root patties. (Photo: Adi Gunawan / Oxfam)


What Project Partners Are Saying

 

Dodo from Sharing Kitchen

‘Many kitchenhands at Sharing Kitchen have been hard hit by the coronavirus and have been put on unpaid leave. That’s why they are very happy to have this part-time job to help prepare the meal kits in the meantime!’

Founder of Sharing Kitchen Hong Kong, Dodo Cheng Yiu-tung

 

Spokesperson of Hong Kong Dietitians Association, Sylvia See Way Lam (APD Australia)

‘When creating the recipes, we took the limited space low-income families have and rising food costs into consideration. In the long run, all project participants will be able to cook affordable and nutritious meals for their families.’

Spokesperson of Hong Kong Dietitians Association, Sylvia See Way Lam (APD Australia) 

 

 

Everyone deserves a nutritious meal.

Donate today to support GIVE A MEAL: OXFAM’S FOOD SUPPORT PROJECT FOR LOW-INCOME FAMILIES!

Donate now