|▲ Cheonan Kicho Food Bank / President Oksun Jeong|
The Cheonan Kicho Food Bank is a charity organization that uses a number of worn out containers at a corner of the parking lot in Cheonan Haneulsam Church. Despite the pathetic look of the office outside, the charity raised a surprising 3.5 billion won ($2.9 million) last year and donated food to 10,000 people in need. It is record high among all 470 Food Banks nationwide.
The Food Bank was founded in the US in 1967 and introduced to South Korea in 1998. The idea of the Food Bank is to collect leftover made during production, distribution, selling and consuming from donators to donate back to the people in need.
Oksun Jeong, President of the Cheonan Kicho Food Bank, is second to none when it comes to her passion in what she loves and does. She almost always takes the frontrunner to persuade owners of enterprises and leaders of the society to make donations and wrote a history of raising record high fund among the Food Banks nationwide.
“There are about 20,000 recipients of basic living subsidies in the city alone. And some of them are excluded because they did not satisfy the requirement although they are actually in the category. This encouraged me greatly and has been the driving force of my passionate activity ever since I knew this” says Jeong.
Although she is called CEO, Jeong works with a 69 year old staff. So the total staff of the Cheonan Kicho Food Bank is two. Yet the amount of collected foods from cakes and breads to milks and drinks are full of the containers and the two staff and large numbers of volunteers are busy handing out them to the people in need twice a month.
When Jeong took in charge of the food bank, it was in a state of near closure. But she visited the provincial government and the city consistently for support of money and staff and eventually secured 87.10 million won ($73,294) with 5 public service workers. Today, about 120 volunteers are working at the Cheonan Kicho Food Bank.
The Cheonan Kicho Food Bank distributes food and daily goods every two weeks. You are welcome to donate food or daily necessities to the bank as more than 150 companies big or small are making donations to the bank on a regular basis at the moment. Join the donation, the more the better.
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