Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have launched a campaign to make use of surplus food at the upcoming Universiade in Taipei, drawing on the example of last year’s Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

The campaign titled, “Save Food, Save Life for You, for Youth,” calls on the Taipei City Government to work with NGOs to prevent food waste during the Universiade, which is to be held from Aug. 19 to Aug. 30.

The NGOs said the campaign is similar to the “Save Food for the Poor” initiative that was launched in Brazil last year during the Rio Olympics, when surplus food in the athletes’ village was used to provide 5,000 meals for poor people in Rio de Janeiro.

“We would recommend that the Taipei City Government allow us to enter the athletes’ village to help check and record how raw food and ingredients are being used,” said Shen Pao-li (沈寶莉), an executive at the Homemakers United Foundation, one of the NGOs involved in launching the campaign.

The Universiade’s organizers can adjust the supply of meals each day based on the amount of surplus food the previous day and can set a carbon emissions target for caterers, she said.

Another way to prevent the waste of fresh food would be to give it to members of the public to take home, Shen said.

Besides the Homemakers United Foundation, the other NGOs involved in the campaign are Daan Good Life, the Homemakers Union Consumers Co-op, the Homeless Taiwan Foundation and the Wistaria Tea House.

About 400 workers have been recruited by the organizers of the Universiade to prepare between 35,000 and 40,000 meals each day for the 10,000 participating athletes from 170 nations, the NGOs said.