Sunday, May 17, 2009

Food Network - 1st Project

Hello everyone!

Most Filipinos experience hunger sometimes. Some Filipinos experience hunger most of the time. Other Filipinos die because of hunger.

Unlike other countries that have a problem with food supplies, the Philippines doesn't have a shortage of food, but rather the lack of access to it. Here in the Philippines, people can starve and even die a few meters away from a room filled with so much food.

My first project is what I would like to call the Food Network. The aim of this project is to provide food for the hungry Filipinos.

First, in order to give us some background. Let me take you to the common practices of most restaurants. Most restaurants, especially fastfood chains, hotels, and bakeries, have a lot of food left unsold by the end of the day. However, in order not to endanger the product quality image of their products, the unsold products are neither given to employees or to other people. But rather, are disposed for trash. Personally, as a person exposed to common business models, I understand the reasoning behind this standard operating procedure (SOP). However, I can also this as an unexploited opportunity to help the hungry.

Alright, enough with the background. Let's go straight to what this project involves.

To put it in the most simple way, the Food Network Project is a system that will take the unsold food of every restaurant and give it to the hungry poor in the community.

It may sound simple, but the Food Network Project System has to be designed in such a way that would make everybody win. It's easy to see that the hungry will win in this project, because they are the most obvious beneficiaries. However, the restaurants also have to "win" from their giving. They have to be able to see something in it that's for them. And finally, the community as a whole should also "win". The people have to be able to see what the project can do for them. If everybody wins, then everybody wins! Making everybody win is easy to say, but difficult to do. That's where we get the saying, "You just can't please everyone." But we don't have to please everyone, we just have to please as most as we can.

This is how the system will work.

First, we will have to establish the label of the "Food Network Project". It would have to work like a brand that people can easily tell the purpose behind it the moment they see the label. For example, the "Earth Hour" movement. "Earth Hour" is not a business or a brand name, but everyone knows what it means, and what it stands for. The "Food Network Project" can be similar to that. As "Earth Hour" is for the planet, "The Food Network Project" is for the hungry.

Second, restaurants, hotels, bakeries, or basically any food business, can get involved by giving their unsold products by the end of the day to the "Food Network", which will in turn distribute it to the hungry. What's in it for the food establishments? Let me tell you what it can be for the food establishments. It can be a form of marketing. Instead of lowering their product quality image, it's possible that it can even increase it. By participating in the Food Network, the food establishments can be guaranteed to serve only freshly prepared food products, since the people will know that all the old stocks are disposed by being given to the Food Network. The food establishments can use this as a marketing campaign, by claiming to be part of the Food Network. The community will also be encouraged to patronize such establishments because of their involvement in helping with the problems of the community (e.g. hunger).

Third and last, volunteers (it can be you. Why not?) from the community will prepare the collected food and distribute it to the poor and hungry. The poor and hungry beneficiaries, because they have been fed, will now have enough energy to be able to contribute to the community. They can even be asked to volunteer for the Food Network. If they are still lacking in education, then they can focus their efforts in studies, which of course will then turn out for the betterment of the community, once they graduate.

In conclusion I'd like to let us realize that with this system...

1. The food establishments have an opportunity for a marketing campaign and an avenue for their corporate social responsibility efforts, thus they win!

2. The hungry poor get to eat, preserve their health, and keep them alive, thus they win too!

3. And because more people are kept alive, there is a huge human resource base that can contribute to the community, thus the community wins!

And since the community wins, everybody wins!!!

Alright, that's it. I'm done. I know that I haven't got this all figured out, and I'm sure I might be missing something. I would love your input. I would appreciate your comments, suggestions, questions, or basically any form of feedback from you.

Actually, let's have it this way.

If you know someone who suffers from hunger often, then perhaps you can comment their approval, disapproval, or comments for them.

Or if you know someone who operates a food establishment (restaurant, fastfood, hotel, resort, coffee shop, bakery, etc.), perhaps you can forward a link to this blog to them, so we can know what they think of the Project.

Or maybe you own a food establishment, then please feedback/comment on what you think about the project. There might be something you might want to recommend, suggest, or maybe ask a question, anything! Just comment please... :D

If you are none of the above, then you are still part of the community. Please comment or feedback on what you think of the Food Network Project. Thank you!

I know that there are still a lot of things that I need to learn, so all your comments are highly appreciated. Thank you!

You can stop reading up to this point, but if you have some reservations about this project, then perhaps you can read on...

There may be several arguments against this project, and I would like to attempt to answer some of the ones that I can foresee, in order to save time.

Argument 1: Am I not promoting mendicancy?

Well, I personally believe that the Food Network will not promote mendicancy, but rather will aid people from the effects of mendicancy upon them. In order for me to clearly explain this, first, I'd like to ask us to take a little step back in order for us to see what really promotes mendicancy here in the Philippines. First of all, I don't believe that beggars beg because they don't like to work. Begging is a lot of work. It is tiring and even degrading. The reason why beggars beg is because they have no more choice. There are no decent job options. The reason behind mendicancy is the lack of employment opportunities (which is another issue that I seek to tackle in a separate project) and not giving to beggars. Giving to beggars actually help them stay alive while they are in the state of mendicancy because of the lack of other job opportunities. To answer the question, no, The Food Network Project does not promote mendicancy. The Food Network Project is aimed to keep hungry people alive until the job opportunities arrive.

Other Arguments to follow... :D

Thank you and enjoy!


  1. First of all, I really admire this advocacy and I am totally for it.

    However... How do you plan to create the "Food network" brand? It's not as simple as it sounds.. The Earth Hour brand didn't just appear in a blink of an eye. :D

    Next... About the mendicancy issue, I am not completely convinced. Yes, we feed them and they don't suffer from hunger, that's good. But ultimately, what will get them out of their impoverished state? It still requires us to teach them how to fish. Yeah, that's a different cause altogether but in line with this.. we should teach them.

    Just my two cents. :D

  2. @Nikka: Thank you! Let's make this happen!

    @rina_cara: Thank you for your feedback! Oh yeah, that's true! First of all, I think it has to have a "catchy" name. What do you think? You can post your suggestions. Thank you! Regarding, teaching them how to fish, I definitely agree! That's why we give them fish first, because they are already dying for fish. And teaching takes time. If we don't feed them first, they might die before they can actually learn. Feeding first, then the lessons! :D

  3. You can also express your support to this cause (or even if you don't want to support, but are interested to observe its progress) by following this blog. It's very easy. Just click on the "Follow" button found at the top of the right sidebar of this blog. Thank you! :D