“Tops” and Association of Major Religious Superiors in Thailand share surplus food via “Care and Share Food for All” project
The rest of the world is suffering from more hunger than ever, due to the spread of COVID-19. The UN said that malnutrition has increased by 10% during the pandemic. Tops under Central Retail, the leader in retail supermarket in Thailand, has launched “FOOD for GOOD DEED” to donate surplus food from its daily operations, such as bakery, fruits and vegetables, which are in good condition and can be cooked and consumed, to those in need via various organizations. Recently, 33 Tops market and Central Food Hall stores have donated surplus food to the Association of Major Religious Superiors in Thailand through “Care and Share Food for All” to help underprivileged children, children with disabilities (physical and visual), elders, and those with illnesses, residing in areas under the care of catholic centers nationwide.
Stephane Coum, CEO of Central Food Retail under Central Retail, said, “Our company recognizes the importance of food waste and surplus food from our daily operations. We have a mission to reduce food waste in Thailand following the 12th goal in the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) about ensuring sustainable consumption and production patterns. Goal 12.3 is to halve global per capita food waste and make the most use out of surplus. We have launched FOOD for GOOD DEED based on an idea that the food that we sell is valuable and should not be wasted. Throwing away food that is still consumable not only wastes natural resources but also creates unnecessary food waste. It would be better if we could make use of the surplus food by donating it to organizations which can distribute it to those in need.”
Since 2019, the company has worked with various partners such as Scholars of Sustenance Thailand (SOS) and VV Share Foundation, to donate surplus food such as fruits, vegetables and bakery. Recently, 33 Tops market and Central Food Hall stores have supported the “Care and Share Food for All” program by the Association of Major Religious Superiors in Thailand to donate surplus food to 33 Catholic centers nationwide. The centers will then distribute the food to those in need under the centers’ care, such as underprivileged children, children with disabilities (physical and visual), elders, and those with illnesses, as well as refugees. This is a way to achieve Zero Hunger, which is the 2nd goal in the SDGs.
Sister Bangon Mathurossuwan, Secretary of Association of Major Religious Superiors in Thailand at the Sacred Heart Convent Chapel Khlong Toey, one of the responsible persons in the “Care and Share Food for All” program, said, “The program was initiated by the Association of Major Religious Superiors in Thailand who recognized the need to put an end to hunger and manage food waste in Thailand. The surplus food can be donated to those in need, those who do not have enough food, and communities and individuals under the care of the Association or other Catholic churches. This shows love and sharing, as taught by Jesus Christ. We are delighted that our Care and Share Food for All program is supported by Tops. We started the program in March 2021 and have received food surplus from six Tops market and Central Food Hall stores in Bangkok, Nonthaburi and Pattaya, to distribute to five participating Catholic centers. We have been very successful and today we have extended help to 28 other centers, or 33 centers in total nationwide. We have received surplus food from Tops market and Central Food Hall in the Central Region, Eastern Region, Northeastern Region and Northern Region, 33 stores in total.”
Sister Piyachat Boonmul, Director of the Good Shepherd Fountain of Life Women's Center in Pattaya, one of the Catholic centers which receive surplus food from Tops market Baan & Beyond Pattaya and Tuek Com South Pattaya, said, “We are thankful for the generosity shown to our society. FOOD for GOOD DEED has donated surplus food to Care and Share Food for All by the Association of Major Religious Superiors in Thailand, and this project greatly benefits girls and women at our center. Those who cannot afford a meal can enjoy the food provided. Today, during the COVID-19 situation, we have shared some of the bread, around 30-50 pieces, to locals who come to collect free food near Pattaya Beach.” The Good Shepherd Fountain of Life Women's Center joined this project earlier in May, and around 200-250 receive food from Tops every day.
Stephane added, “FOOD for GOOD DEED will continue in the future as it is a way of managing surplus food. In addition to partnerships with various foundations who pass on the surplus food to communities, we are also working with communities who are ready and in need for surplus food from our stores. They will manage the supplies and distribute the food to those in need in communities near our stores. Through this project, we not only help those in need to be free from hunger, but we also see other benefits such as reducing food waste and reducing surplus food which affects the environment. Every day, Thailand has a lot of surplus food and it is not well-managed. As these surpluses file up, it affects the environment, people’s hygiene, and quality of life. So far, Tops, Central Food Hall and Family Mart 109 stores nationwide have shared 1,608,161 meals via this project, which only fill people with energy but also help reduce 727,501.60 kg of greenhouse gas.
Images of smiling children and people as they receive food are a source of inspiration and motivation for us to continue helping our society, because we know that every meal means a person is fulfilled and ready to move forward, so that we can all help our country progress.
For more details about this project, visit www.tops.co.th , Facebook TopsThailand or LINE @TopsThailand