Gabrielle Kirstein moved to Hong Kong in 2003, not knowing she’d end up calling the city home for the next 18 years. Outside of her corporate job, she found herself drawn to volunteering with charity groups that focused on reducing waste; by 2009, she had the idea of starting a food bank, after rescuing a pallet of fresh bread headed to the bin and donating it to a crisis shelter.
Kirstein founded Feeding Hong Kong in 2011, a charity aimed at fighting hunger and reducing the amount of quality food being sent to landfills. Collecting surplus from food companies to sort, store and redistribute, the charity has sent more than 14 million meals to people in need in the city. Kirstein is also a board director of Redress, the environmental NGO working to reduce waste in the fashion industry and a co-founder of The Redress Design Award.
Keeping Feeding Hong Kong open throughout the pandemic. It was difficult but entirely rewarding, as the foodbank made a significant impact on the city’s vulnerable and unemployed during this economic downturn.