Shanghai authorities and KFC strengthen management for ‘food bank’ after grabbing chaos
Published: Mar 11, 2021 10:01 AM

Photo: A KFC staff gives food to resdients queuing up at a KFC food bank in Yangpu district, Shanghai. Photo: VCG

A KFC staff gives food to resdients queuing up at a KFC "food bank" in Yangpu district, Shanghai. Photo: VCG

A video showing a crowd of people grabbing food from a "food bank" set up by a Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) store in Shanghai went viral on the internet, triggering a wide discussion among Chinese netizens, with most of them in agreement that the original intention of the program was positive.

After the chaos, both KFC and the cooperating subdistrict in Shanghai have established measures to prevent the chaos from happening again.

On Tuesday morning, around 9 am, a Global Times reporter saw about 20 people queuing up in front of a KFC store in Shanghai's Yangpu district, where a food bank is located, under the supervision of some KFC staff members.

KFC implemented several measures including "distributing food by staff, not by residents themselves," a Yinhang subdistrict official told the Global Times on Wednesday, noting that they required the KFC staff to guide residents to line up in an orderly manner and wear face masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The working staff would also inform residents in line in advance when the food had all been given out.

KFC China confirmed with the Global Times on Wednesday that they would strengthen management and echoed the official's remarks that they will distribute food in an orderly manner.

KFC China operated its first "food bank" in Shanghai in February, which was a public welfare project in cooperation with the Yinhang subdistrict in Yangpu. The original intention of this program was to provide food for residents in need.

A sustainable public welfare program is related to "people's quality and personality," for instance, for KFC's case, it might be triggered by some residents who like to covet little advantages, Tian Yun, vice director of the Beijing Economic Operation Association, told the Global Times on Wednesday.

"The society should be more tolerant and open for useful welfare programs as it takes time to cultivate the whole society," Tian said, noting that he believed that more and more Chinese are receiving higher education and the trials for welfare programs should focus on how to benefit those people really in need.

 Also, institutions launching these programs might implement more measures such as keeping away from the media to take care of those needy people with fragile minds.

Several passersby reached by the Global Times all agreed that the food bank was a good thing to benefit those people in need. "But the problem is that the food should be eaten by those really in need," one resident told the Global Times.

"For some needy people, the food might be a delicious meal," another resident said.

With China's national campaign against food waste, more people have become to realize the importance of food reserves; some cities including Shanghai and Hangzhou, capital of East China's Zhejiang Province have launched special food banks to provide food to those people in need.