News | October 16, 2023
Each year on October 16, the United Nations (UN) observes World Food Day to commemorate the founding of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, which has led efforts to combat hunger around the world since 1945. For nearly 80 years, the day has been one of the UN’s essential tools for raising awareness about the number of people who face food insecurity and ways to sustainably alleviate hunger and poverty.
The need for attention and action remains critically high. A 2022 United Nations report revealed that hunger affects approximately one in ten people. According to the report, approximately 691-783 million people faced hunger in 2022, which is an increase of up to 122 million more people facing hunger than in 2019.
Working to ensure food security is one of Sands’ core priorities under its overall focus on hardship relief within the Communities pillar of its global corporate responsibility program. The company and its resorts pursue a variety of initiatives and partnerships, aiming to tackle this issue from multiple angles to accelerate impact.
Each Sands region also has solidified localized plans for providing food to people in need through engagements that generate donations to food relief organizations, combined with volunteer support to pack, process and distribute food.
Supporting Hunger Relief through Food Rescue and Donation
Last year, Sands’ resorts rescued five tons of food from its operations for donation to hunger relief organizations. In Singapore, Marina Bay Sands maintains a strong relationship with The Food Bank Singapore to provide unserved food to people in need.
The resort has worked with the food bank to alleviate hunger through food donations from its catering operations since 2016. Over 40,000 kilograms of food have been donated through the food bank, supporting 370 beneficiary organizations.
In Macao, one of Sands China’s newest initiatives is donating bread and pastry items to the Macau ECOnscious Community Fridge project.
Sands Cares Support for Hunger Relief
Established in 2022, the annual Sands Cares Global Food Kit Build is one of the company’s newest efforts to relieve hunger. The global effort recognizes the priority Sands places on aiding food security initiatives and unites Team Members around the world in a common effort to help address this important issue in their local communities.
In June, Marina Bay Sands hosted a food kit build with more than 350 Team Members and partners. The group assembled 5,200 food kits for The Food Bank Singapore, complementing its efforts to provide rescued food for donation to the service organization. Kits included rice, rolled oats, biscuits, condiments and instant beverages.
Marina Bay Sands’ support for The Food Bank Singapore also extends beyond the food kit build. Over three days in January, the resort galvanized internal staff and tenants to donate 430 cartons of food containing items such as instant noodles, beverages and biscuits to underprivileged communities in Singapore. More than 4,600 Team Members and 26 retailers took part in the mass effort that resulted in 15,581 meals for beneficiaries of The Food Bank Singapore. Marina Bay Sands Team Members also regularly volunteer to sort food donations and take inventory at The Food Bank Singapore’s warehouse.
In Macao, Sands China is undertaking a series of activations from June 2023 until March 2024 as part of Sands Cares Global Food Kit Build, which will support local social service organization Caritas Macau. During this time, Sands Cares Ambassadors will assemble and distribute 3,000 food kits totaling 21 tons of food to elderly and disabled residents, economically disadvantaged families, and food bank recipients at Caritas Macau’s service centers in Macao.
Sands China kicked off its kit build series in June by delivering food kits to elderly residents at Caritas Macau’s Brilho da Vida Elderly Centre. Each kit contained 18 food items, including staples such as oil, rice, macaroni, canned food, biscuits and more. Sands China has supported Caritas Macau’s food relief efforts since 2022.
In addition, Sands China has partnered with Macau Holy House of Mercy to support food relief programs for more than 10 years. Last year, Team Members assisted the welfare shop by delivering food hampers to disadvantaged families. The annual event has aided 3,770 families facing financial difficulty since the partnership began in 2013.
“No one should worry about when or how they will acquire food to live,” said Ron Reese, senior vice president of global communications and corporate affairs, who spearheads corporate responsibility initiatives at Sands. “Addressing hunger is one of our top priorities because not only is food a basic human need – it’s an area where we can have great impact through reclamation of usable food at our resorts and because our Team Members are extremely dedicated to supporting this cause through volunteer service.”
To learn more about Sands’ work to address food security, read the 2022 ESG Report: https://www.sands.com/2022-environmental-social-and-governance-report/