Which is Better: Food Allowance or Shared Food for Domestic Helpers?

Food…food…food! Don’t we just all love to eat? It is the most essential part of our life that we can’t live without. So, it is only fair to be concerned about it while staying in a different country, living with different people who have a totally different culture and different food.

As a Foreign Domestic helper, the Hong Kong government’s policy is for the employer to provide food allowance amounting to $1,037 a month; the employer also has the option to do food sharing with the employee.

The Pros and Cons of Food Sharing and Food Allowance

To ask whether you prefer to receive a food allowance or share food with your employer may be a no brainer, but still let me walk you through the Pros and Cons of both choices. It may also enlighten your employer in weighing the two options.


Food Sharing


  1. It will be more convenient to do the grocery shopping and store food.
  2. It saves money.
  3. It let’s you experience local dishes from Hong Kong.
  4. It saves you time and effort from thinking of what to cook and eat for yourself.


  1. Some Foreign Domestic Helpers complain that they are given left over food.
  2. You might feel shy or embarrass to take more food
  3. You probably prefer Filipino dish than local dish in Hong Kong.
  4. You are concerned that your employer might blame you from the missing grocery items.

Food Allowance



  1. You have the personal choice on what you can eat or cook for the day.
  2. You can budget your allowance base on what you only need for the week/month.
  3. You can avoid conflict with your employer over the amount of food that you can have every meal.
  4. You don’t have to feel embarrass to decline to eat whatever your employer is having.
  5. You can eat your meal/snacks whenever you want.


  1. You have to label your personal food items.
  2. You might have a hard time budgeting your allowance because of the high cost of food.
  3. You might choose to eat easy to prepare or instant food because you don’t have time to cook for yourself.
  4. You may be embarrassed to use your employer’s condiments/seasonings for your personal use.

Food sharing and Food allowance both have their own advantages and disadvantages. It may work for you and your employer or it may not. However, you have to weigh it well before deciding. It is possible for you to find an employer who is open to all the possibilities both choices can offer which will be beneficial for both parties. Furthermore, it may be a simple issue, but food as we all know is an integral part of our daily life, so it has to be given attention too. You are going to do all the hard work at home, so you need to eat food that will sustain you while working.

Leave a Comment