CORONAVIRUS/Taiwan's thank-you snack boxes to Lithuania to bear special design

07/05/2021 09:26 PM
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Photo courtesy of I-Mei Foods Co.
Photo courtesy of I-Mei Foods Co.

Taipei, July 5 (CNA) The packages of snacks that a Taiwan food company is giving to Lithuania in a symbolic gesture of gratitude for a donation of COVID-19 vaccines will carry a special design that includes the flags of the two countries, the food manufacturer said Monday.

The milk, strawberry and chocolate puffs will be packaged in retail boxes with a speech bubble on the front, bearing the words "Thanks, Lithuania," in English and Lithuanian, as if being said by Taiwan, which is represented by a green map, I-Mei Foods Co. told CNA.

At the top of the white speech bubble, there will be an image of the crossed flags of Taiwan and Lithuania, while on the bottom a white heart cupped in two hands will be depicted, I-Mei CEO Luis Kao (高志明) said.

The snacks, in the specially designed packages, will be shipped to Lithuania by the end of July, in a thank-you gesture for the 20,000 doses of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine the country has pledged to donate to Taiwan by the end of September, he said.

On June 23, one day after Lithuania announced the vaccine donation, I-Mei made an offer to send a 20-ft container of 21,600 boxes of puffs to the Baltic country as a gift.

The Taiwanese public has also been showing appreciation to Lithuania in various ways, including through monetary donations to charitable institutions in that country, particularly after Jill Chang (張瀞仁), a Taiwanese employee at a non-governmental organization, issued a call on social media for such actions.

Krizinio Nėštumo Centras, a charity in Lithuania that supports mainly disadvantaged pregnant women, told CNA it had obtained 1,928 donations, amounting to US$135,000, from people in Taiwan in the period June 23-30.

According to Krizinio Nėštumo Centras acting head Simona Nevieriene, it was the first time the charity had received donations from Taiwan, since it was founded in 2013.

Nevieriene said the center usually receives about US$20,000 per year via donation platforms.

Another charitable organization in Lithuania, the Childhood Cancer Fund Rugutė that assists children with cancer, received at least €25,000 in donations between June 23 and July 2, according to its co-founder Edita Abrukauskienė.

Abrukauskienė told CNA that she was moved by the outpouring of kindness from Taiwan for children with cancer in her country, and she wished to thank the Taiwanese people.

MAMŲ UNIJA, another Lithuanian organization that supports the families of children with cancer, said it had received about US$50,000 in June, compared with its usual average intake of US$300 per month.

"This should be credited to the Taiwanese people," said Justina Žukauskienė, the organization's executive director.

In Taiwan, more than 1,000 people expressed thanks to Lithuania, via Twitter, for the pledged vaccine donation, within a span of two hours after the Lithuania government made the announcement.

"Thanks for your generosity," one person tweeted. "I will cheer for Lithuanian athletes in the Tokyo Olympic Games," another said.

Some netizens in Taiwan said they will visit Lithuania when the pandemic eases, while many others have been ordering Lithuanian foods and beverages from retail stores that sell such products, and they have been attaching messages of appreciation to the orders.

RUTA Taiwan, which sells Lithuanian chocolates, said it had to suspend its online orders temporarily due to recent high demand.

(By Han Ting-ting, Chen Yun-yu and Emerson Lim)

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