With help from caring Malaysians, social enterprise Masala Wheels sponsors meals for the needy during Covid-19 shutdown

The hardworking team at Masala Wheels has called on the help of the public to aid their efforts to feed the needy. — Picture courtesy of Masala Wheels
The hardworking team at Masala Wheels has called on the help of the public to aid their efforts to feed the needy. — Picture courtesy of Masala Wheels

PETALING JAYA, March 23 — Social enterprise slash food truck Masala Wheels is calling on the public to aid its efforts in sponsoring subsidised meals for the needy.

Built as a mobile food provider which places heavy emphasis on social activism, Masala Wheels was asked by its followers on social media to help out the underprivileged struggling to acquire sufficient daily necessities such as food.

This kind of thing is right up their alley, so those at Masala Wheels decided to lend a helping hand as they announced on social media that they would be providing suspended meals at subsidised costs to the urban needy, students and others facing difficulty because of the nationwide shutdown.

Co-founder Kuhan Pathy told Malay Mail that thanks to the gracious support of the public, Masala Wheels decided to start the #foodwithoutborders initiative, using a “pay forward” system.

“We’ve definitely been moved by the generosity and kind gestures by the public,” said Kuhan.

“It started with a local university requesting our help to contribute meals for stranded students on campus because most of them are from B40 families and we managed to raise 240 meals for them on social media.”

Some of the upcoming initiatives planned by Masala Wheels, including the #foodwithoutborders movement. — Picture courtesy of Masala Wheels
Some of the upcoming initiatives planned by Masala Wheels, including the #foodwithoutborders movement. — Picture courtesy of Masala Wheels

He added that they initially provided 40 daily meals for the students for six days in a week, but thanks to the generosity of their donors, now aim to help others in need of daily sustenance.

“We met the demand within minutes and realised that many more came forward to contribute further. So we planned and rolled out the #foodwithoutborders movement through Pay It Forward,” said Kuhan.

“On Saturday, when we first spread the word, we raised 1,140 meals in 24 hours. But it was gone within a day, with only 100 meals left by noon on Sunday.”

Beneficiaries of the 1040 meals included frontliners at Hospital Sungai Buloh, university students stuck at campuses, B40 families at PPR Desa Mentari and urban poor households identified by local parliament offices.

However, Kuhan has reiterated that the public should band together to assist efforts such as theirs as the beneficiaries required urgent and consistent aid as the Movement Control Order (MCO) was causing problems for them in terms of income and mobility.

The team at Masala Wheels handing out suspended meals to one of their older beneficiaries in PJ. — Picture courtesy of Masala Wheels.
The team at Masala Wheels handing out suspended meals to one of their older beneficiaries in PJ. — Picture courtesy of Masala Wheels.

“There are many who have lost their source of income (urban poor), their ability to move around to sustain their daily meals (disabled and elderly) or are too exhausted to even get a meal (frontliners),” said Kuhan.

“At least until the MCO is over, we need everyone’s support to contribute to these people. It’s the least we could do.”

Masala Wheels was founded in 2015 by young professionals and is the first social enterprise food truck in the country, which aims to not only feed the community but empower it at the same time.

It provides a diverse selection of Indian and Sri Lankan cuisines made with homemade spices and recently expanded their business in 2017 with the establishment of a cafe in Petaling Jaya which incorporates a borderless kitchen concept.

A look at one of the daily meals provided by Masala Wheels. — Picture courtesy of Masala Wheels
A look at one of the daily meals provided by Masala Wheels. — Picture courtesy of Masala Wheels

Masala Wheels will be providing meals for these beneficiaries using a “Pay It Forward” system, with donors purchasing packed meals in advance for others.

These meals consist of both vegetarian and non-vegetarians dishes such as vegetarian and chicken briyani, with the menu differing daily based on the number of orders.

If you’re interested in helping out or buying a meal for someone in need, you can make donations to Pepper Labs Sdn Bhd (CIMB; 8008957698) or surf over to http://payforward.masalawheels.com/

You will be required to send over a receipt of the transaction upon making a contribution via WhatsApp to 014-3362109 or via e-mail to [email protected]

Also, if you’re in need of daily support to acquire meals or know someone who might need assistance, you can register beneficiary details at http://beneficiary.masalawheels.com/

For more information, you can visit Masala Wheels social media pages or surf over to their official website at https://masalawheels.com/


 

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