On what was the coldest winter day in years, a communal hot pot event in New Taipei City’s Sijhih District (汐止) on Saturday saw dozens of disadvantaged children and their families celebrate the arrival of a new year.
The event was organized by the Eden Social Welfare Foundation and Foodpanda Co, a food delivery company, and the foundation plans to sponsor more such events, reaching several thousand people.
A group of beaming children, led by a panda mascot, danced to a pop song in front of their families.
Foodpanda Co, which raised NT$100,000 to sponsor five such events at the foundation’s different divisions.
“Our Lunar New Year hot pot event is in its third year, and we hope to bring love and care to families and senior citizens. There are about 5,000 people with physical and mental disabilities who will enjoy a hot pot meal this year,” foundation New Taipei City branch director Ho Tien-yuan (何天元).
The event was launched two years ago to allow people with disabilities or people who lived alone and could not have family reunion dinners with relatives to have a meal with friends and enjoy the Lunar New Year festivities, Ho said.
The foundation also delivers New Year foods to families living in remote areas or people with limited mobility, he added.
The number of people taking part in such events has increased, but it has become increasingly more difficult for the foundation to gather donations for them because of the nation’s economic slowdown, he said.
Ho urged members of the public to care for people in need and contribute to the cause.
“We encouraged people to put themselves in the shoes of others and contribute to the food event when they are enjoying delicious food. We managed to collect enough money in two weeks because people are generous and caring,” Foodpanda marketing director Jack Huang (黃怡瑋) said, adding that the company planned to sponsor a dinner party for people with visual disabilities in April.
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