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Year-end feasts for homeless short of funds and volunteers

TAIPEI -- A local charity yesterday appealed to the public for donations to help overcome a funding shortage for holding year-end banquets for the homeless and the poor this month.

“We are still over 50 percent short of the required funding,” said Yu Li-chen, deputy director of public relations at the Genesis Social Welfare Foundation, which is jointly organizing the feasts along with the Huashan Social Welfare Foundation and the Zenan Social Welfare Foundation.

The three foundations plan to host annual banquets at 15 locations across Taiwan on Jan. 23. The Lunar New Year falls on Jan. 31 this year.

The banquets this year are expected to provide meals for 26,000 homeless people, elderly people living alone and impoverished single-parent families. Last year, some 30,000 such individuals had enjoyed the feast.

In addition to funds, around 1,000 additional volunteers would also be needed to serve the people attending the Taipei banquet, Yu said.

The Genesis Social Welfare Foundation had also urged for donations of sleeping bags and winter clothes for the homeless and the poor. Members of the public can call (02) 2835-7700 to make donations or register to become volunteers.

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