TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan Futures Exchange (TAIFEX) announced Friday (July 31) the Food Bank program will continue to serve underprivileged families, helping out during the coronavirus pandemic and complementing the nation's social security network.
The Food Bank program has run for six years, with NT$50 million spent so far this year on diapers, baby formula, and food. TAIFEX Chairman Wu Tzu-hsin (吳自心) said more than 270,000 families have benefited from the program since it began in 2015.
Wu said the company will continue the initiative this year, as a higher pandemic-induced unemployment rate is expected to cause hardship for families. A recent survey was cited at the Friday event showing that even a 1 percentage point rise in the unemployment rate means the incidence of child abuse will increase by seven per 10,000 children — or 2,500 children based on the current national population of children aged under 18.
Over 290,000 people in Taiwan are living in poverty, according to data this year from the Ministry of Health and Welfare. They are also more likely to be affected by problems such as domestic violence, health, or financial stress.
Visits by social workers are often rejected by high-risk families, but the situation can change when they bring food packs funded by the program.
"With these food packs, the families often become more willing to open their doors to our social workers, and let us know how we can help," Wu said.
The program is jointly funded by TAIFEX, Taiwan Stock Exchange Corp., Taiwan Depository & Clearing Corp., Taiwan Cooperative Bank, Joint Credit Information Center, and Taipei Exchange. The program partners with social affairs departments in 22 cities and counties, including Taipei, New Taipei, Nantou, Taichung, Changhua, Yunlin, Miaoli, Kaohsiung, Pingtung, Yilan, Penghu, which mainly act as distributors.
TAIFEX representatives and other sponsors of the program call attention to families in need.