Kaohsiung holds year-end banquet for poor, homeless


KAOHSIUNG–More than 1,000 homeless and indigenous people in Kaohsiung will be treated to a year-end banquet as has become a yearly tradition, said the head of a civic group Saturday.

The banquet, to be held at Shinteh Temple, will cater for 120 tables at a cost of around NT$1 million (US$33,085), said Lin Chao-an, head of the Association for Care of the Homeless in this port city in southern Taiwan.

Each guest will also be given a winter jacket and a red envelope containing NT$200, Lin said.

Lin said he wants the homeless and impoverished to “have a good meal and warm clothing during Chinese New Year,” which falls on Jan. 23 this year.

Lin is following in the footsteps of his late mother Lin A-han, who provided meals for street people in Kaohsiung for more than a decade, particularly in the area of Chungdu. Since “Chungdu Grandma,” as she was known, died last November, Lin has been carrying on her work.

The association that he heads provides about 400 people per day with lunch boxes, he said. The number has risen since early last year, from about 300 to 400, because of the economic slowdown, he added. When the association does not have enough funds to keep the food program going, Lin dips into his own pocket and seeks government assistance.

“I’ll continue to provide the lunch boxes to carry on the legacy of my mother’s love and care of the homeless,” he said. “I’ll also encourage them to return to society and find a way to support themselves.”