TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Buddhist Compassion Relief Tzu Chi Foundation announced Friday (Jan. 10) that it has begun distributing charitable supplies to disadvantaged families across Taiwan.
The humanitarian non-governmental organization plans to hold 43 dinner banquets before the Lunar New Year for lower-income households to enjoy the holiday spirit. Tzu Chi said that its first three dinner parties, which consisted of vegetarian delicacies as well as various cultural performances, were successfully carried out in the Hualien-Taitung area last weekend and that the participants were grateful for the organization's warm gesture.
Tzu Chi said that instead of giving out five-kilogram bags of Lunar New Year merchandise, the families will receive gift vouchers instead, allowing them to purchase everyday necessities from supermarkets. However, the gift certificates cannot be used for tobacco or liquor purchases, reported CNA.
Tzu Chi pointed out that approximately 21,000 families will benefit from the program. Volunteers from the organization have also prepared packages of flour, vegetarian instant noodles, and sweet porridge for recipients to share the joy of the Lunar New Year.