|#crazyhashtag40HKD dinner, $20|
Us "foodies" are the type of people who spend inordinate amounts of time thinking about what to eat for our next meal, rather than worrying about if we'll have a next meal at all. I'm saying this not to boast, but to emphasise that we're the fortunate ones. Hong Kong has the greatest gap between rich and poor in the world, and that fact does not make me proud of the city I was born in.
For me, the point of this $40 a day "challenge" was to truly experience how hard it is to live on such a tight budget, and yes, you could say that that's about as effective as "disaster tourism", but I do believe in the power of raising awareness and going beyond donations and volunteering*.
*Although I have made food volunteering a part of my life, like doing Feeding Hong Kong Bread Runs, and have done it with the #crazyhashtagfoodies bunch too. Keep reading below for more info.
|#crazyhashtag40HKD lunch, $9.9|
And if you think $40 a day is easy, thinking "what are these people whining about" etc., consider that food budgets are just the beginning. Many of our city's poor live in cage and coffin homes, with very limited or no access to cooking facilties. On my first day, I spent a total of $29.90, but I skipped breakfast (not on purpose, just happened to have worked through it) and I made lunch and dinner at home, with a range of kitchen equipment and time (precious if you need to work most waking hours to afford other things, like rent).
|Snippets from the Feeding Hong Kong Bread Run. Collecting bread, taking it to Yau Tong, dropping it off at the warehouse. Easy!|
Aside from Feeding Hong Kong, here are some other food/hunger charities in Hong Kong to check out:
Food Grace (in Chinese. It's an initiative of HK Federation of Women's Centres, so you can also email: foehk [at] foe.org.hk)
If you're interested, you can see the breakdown of food costs for my meals in my Instagram posts (I'm @e_ting, as usual).