KUALA LUMPUR, April 22 — Zeeneeshri Ramadas has been giving out free food since the beginning of the Movement Control Order (MCO).
While initially it consisted of rice meals, sandwiches and desserts, she has taken to providing homemade vegan sandwiches in order to ease up her production and deliver food to more people.
The 37-year-old mother of three has now come up with Meatless Malaysian where she and her mother will be providing the free sandwiches to those affected by the MCO in the Kuala Lumpur and Petaling Jaya areas.
Zeeneshri who is a public relations consultant for the Asian-Pacific Resource and Research Centre for Women, sees it as her responsibility to help others after seeing her parents and friends being told to take unpaid leave by their companies.
“I was also watching the Global Citizen One World Together at Home Concert a few days back and there were stories of how unemployed people are finding it tough to stay afloat.”
“They are not entitled to the handouts; they too feel shy to ask but these are people who also have families to feed.”
“So, all this got me thinking. I mean, imagine if my husband and I had no work and if circumstances didn’t allow us to have savings, how would we feed our three kids? How would we feed our folk?” she said.
At first, her initiative was self-funded but she has started receiving funding from families and friends to keep the initiative going.
Some people have also reached out to her to provide ingredients as well and she was currently sourcing for a baker that could provide bread at a minimal cost.
Meatless Malaysian has provided over 400 egg sandwiches within three days and they have been receiving calls from all over Klang Valley including Cheras, Kepong, Petaling Jaya, Brickfields and Shah Alam.
Unfortunately, due to cost management, they are focusing their deliveries only in Kuala Lumpur and Petaling Jaya since using delivery services like Grab and Lalamove to deliver their sandwiches means their delivery cost takes up most of the money.
“We deliver to anyone around KL and PJ, even if it’s just one or two sandwiches.”
“We understand it’s a cost that needs to be reviewed, but for now our aim is to feed people so that’s something we are turning a blind eye to.”
“We get many calls from Klang and Kajang too but the delivery cost is just ridiculous, so we are looking at other ways to provide these places.”
“I have friends who want to assist in preparing the sandwiches, so we are looking at how they can also do it from their areas,” she said, adding that most of the calls were from daily wage earners, refugees and old folks who are alone.
Meatless Malaysian usually takes orders in the morning until 12pm and they start distributing the sandwiches from 3pm daily.
For now, they are providing only egg sandwiches as Zeeneeshri comes from a family of vegetarians who often modified the meaty Malaysian cuisines into vegan meals.
Meatless Malaysian will continue to provide sandwiches throughout the MCO and they are committed to pull in resources in order to help as many families as they can.