• New Taipei

Eat with Love - Guardian Station with free meals

Updated: Feb 7, 2019


#SDG1 - No Poverty

#SDG2 - Zero Hunger

#SDG11 - Reduced Inequalities

Implementation Period: 2013 - Present

Budget: none of government budget Partners: 2000+ Convenient stores, Charity donors

Media Report: CLC Urban Solutions Issue 14: Food Secure Cities

Case Study: Click Here

Project Website(Mandarin): https://tedl.ntpc.edu.tw/113/

Reference(Mandarin): https://wedid.ntpc.gov.tw/Site/Policy?id=1063

Background In 2012, a 13-year-old hungry kid was caught stealing a salad box at a convenience store. The kid was prosecuted, but punishment of this particular conduct of legal offence did not solve the core problem: - kids left in hunger. So the City Government Officials were driven to think: is there any way to provide aid to every kid who is in emergent need for food? Can we extend the social security network to ensure that no kid would ever need to steal just to feed him/herself?

Implementation New Taipei City Government decided to cooperate with four major chains (7-11, Family Mart, Hi-Life, and OK) of convenience stores and transform their branches into “guardian stations” that provide free meals to any kid in need.

The Sign shown at the gate indicates this is a Guardian Station partner

“Convenience store” was chosen for three reasons. First, it could be found everywhere in the city, and is open 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. Second, it’s bright and airy, and always has food. Third, convenience store is open to everyone and places no stigma to anyone who visit it. In sum, convenience stores provide the greatest degree of accessibility compared with all other alternatives like schools or government agencies.

This policy allows any resident under the age of 18 to request for a free meal at any convenience store if he/she need it. This request will also be forwarded to our “Service Centre for High-Risk Families,” which will then arrange follow-up visit by school counseling teacher or social workers to to arrange other social welfare resource if necessary.

Financing As of the end of Aug. 2018, a total of NT 2,942,863 was spent. All was paid with money generated from public donations and no fiscal resource is required.

Outcomes 1. Number of Meals dispatched

In a duration of nearly five years (Jan 2013-Sept 2018), the meal sets were dispatched to 23,422 children or teenagers in need, and 2,028 new cases of “high risk family” were identified and assisted. 2. High-Risk families Identified

This project allows children under 18 to go safely to convenience stores for meals to solve their immediate hunger issue. Schools all appreciate the program because students facing poverty and emergencies can now receive immediate relief, which can further prevent students from being tempted to break the law because of hunger. Implicit high-risk family cases can also be quickly notified to schools and social welfare agencies to prevent and reduce juvenile delinquency and family issues.

Expansion to Other Cities (1) On Aug. 17, 2015, Pingtung City Government visited our Department of Education to learn from our experience. They soon announced the plan to initiate a similar program in 2016. But their program ceased to function in 2017 due to some difficulties.

(2) On July 8, 2016, Taichung City Government set up “Safeguarding Stations” in approximately 1,220 outlets of five convenience-store chains (including Funcom Supermarket, 7-11, FamilMart, OK, and Hi-Life).