Scholars of Sustenance Foundation (SOS) has been served to the communities in need in Thailand since the beginning of its operation in 2016 in Bangkok and 2019 in Phuket. We strongly value food equity where everyone can have fair access to good food and manage surplus food in the way to prevent good food from being wasted to the landfills.
Until now, SOS has been redistributing nutritious food to vulnerable communities for more than 5 million meals by rescuing surplus ingredients and food products from hotel chains, supermarkets, suppliers within Bangkok Metropolitan and Phuket areas every day.
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Food Repurposing Program
Food Repurposing Program was an experimental program that attempted to develop a better utilization of the varieties of food ingredients deemed either ‘risky’ or ‘neglected’. Risky food referred to dishes or ingredients that include or contain rice, coconut milk, and seafood, which are either spoiled easily or could be very dangerous when avoided (and not worth the risk). Neglected food referred to dishes or ingredients that recipients often avoided due to lack of familiarity, dislike flavors, or/and other reasons. Food Repurposing Program looked into solutions such as spice usage, cooking methods, and other techniques to make sure food is safe and flavorful for recipients. The experiment was a big success and became SOS Rescue Kitchen which operates in different communities around Bangkok and Phuket today. Currently, it also started to take nutritional balance into consideration for every meal cooked for the community as well.
Food Warrior Project
One of the unique traits of SOS is how it developed a discipline to collect data throughout its daily operation. In its early stages, paper and a mobile chat group were more than enough to collect data from daily operations. However, as the operation grew, even more data needed to be collected on a daily basis and it was starting to overwhelm SOS staff with more than 10,000 to 20,000 lines of information in Excel sheet every month. Food Warrior Project came in to take SOS data and logistics management to the next level, by using mobile applications to cut down on the processes, hence reduces time and efforts for data collection. It succeeded and is currently a part of daily operations.
What would you do with inedible food waste? The question has always been frequently asked and SOS also used to actively work on it. SOS invested in logistics for composting food waste as well! By using a model similar to Food Rescue Project, a (normal) dry truck is assigned to collect inedible food waste from different 5-star hotels and brought to local farmers to use their space for composting activities. All the compost produced was donated to farmers. The program proved the existence of demand for food waste management’s logistics infrastructure. However, the program could not continue due to an insufficient number of hotels that were willing to financially support the program.