Alleviating poverty and homelessness is one three guiding principles of Sewa Day so naturally a great many projects focus on how best to achieve that in just one day. One of the most successful and wide reaching programmes is the ‘Food for Life’ campaign that runs in the UK and overseas. The Food for Life, Hong Kong campaign was recognised with the Sewa Pioneers Award 2013 in recognition of their efforts.
Food for Life Hong Kong
Hong Kong has the highest income disparity ratio in Asia, with primarily elderly people having very little money given the very high living costs, which limits their access to good fresh food. 70 volunteers mainly from Deutsche Bank washed, chopped, cooked, packaged, and delivered food to over 1,000 underprivileged elderly people spread across three locations in Hong Kong. The vegetarian meals included a wholesome mixed vegetable curry, rice, and boiled greens. The project was sponsored by Dixit Joshi, Deutsche Bank Head of Asia Equities and also saw volunteers come from Ernst & Young LLP and the Royal Bank of Scotland. The project also raised some much needed awareness amongst all regarding this issue of food shortage within the elder community, and has created a drive to continue similar projects.
A testament to how far the wonderful ripples of doing sewa have spread, the Food for Life project continues with events taking place throughout the year.
Food for Life UK
In 2013, fifteen volunteers, predominantly City high flyers, came together to host a Food for Life project in the UK, feeding the homeless of Watford. The group of volunteers cooked and then distributed food to the homeless shelters. Whilst the Watford arm of the project partnered with the Christian Charity Watford New Hope Trust for the fourth year, the Hong Kong Project was sponsored by Deutsche Bank as one of over ten different initiatives offered to the Hong Kong underprivileged community. The project was very warmly received for the fourth year in a row by the eight homeless shelters across Watford and Rickmansworth, from Churches and Day Care Centres to Night Shelters.
The Food for Life project now spans three continents.