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IPOH, March 1 — Teacher Adura Mohamed used to not think too much about her students who preferred to stay back in class during recess.
After all, they would tell her that they were full from having breakfast at home.
Little did the SMK Kampung Pasir Puteh senior assistant for student affairs teacher know, the students actually skipped recess period as they did not have any money to buy food.
When she finally discovered the reason, Adura decided to do something about it.
“I discretely ordered food from the school koperasi to send to the class for students to eat.
“Sometimes I will pass these students money and urge them to buy food from the canteen,” she said, adding that some of these students would come to school on an empty stomach and sleep during the recess period to avoid hunger pangs.
When the school welcomed the new principal Razak Malek Taharin recently, Adura proposed the idea to have a food bank in the school to help needy students and it was quickly supported.
The food bank was officially opened on February 4.
“We top up items in the cupboard every Friday as normally the items will deplete by Thursday,” she said.
Speaking to Malay Mail when met at the school recently, Adura said it cost between RM350 and RM400 to top up the shelves each week.
“The idea to have the food bank started in January and we started collecting funds for it.”
The school successfully collected RM5,000 from well-wishers.
She said the students can take one item each from the varieties displayed.
“They just need to record the items they took in a log-book that is kept in the guardhouse.”
The school also hands out food baskets to personnel working at the school.
“We gave out 10 baskets worth RM50 to the school guards and cleaners recently.
“We will give out baskets to the needy students next.”
Meanwhile, Razak said to ensure the continuity of the food bank, a collection is done after Friday prayers at the school’s surau.
“The money raised from the collection will then be used to buy food and fill up the cupboards.”
He said when Adura proposed the food bank idea, he suggested the teacher look into targeted assistance to ensure those who are really in need receive it.
“So we check through the school’s record to determine the needy ones.
“It is to ensure no one is left out from receiving assistance,” he said, explaining that there are students who were too shy to take from the food bank.
For students reluctant to take from the food bank, Razak said the school’s counselling teacher would wrap the items in anonymous black plastic bags before passing it to them.
He added the school hopes to open the initiative to people staying in the area if the food bank receives more donations.
Applauding the school’s effort, Pertubuhan Amal Ai Xin Fan Tong Ipoh adviser Kat W. Wong said the organisation helped the school by donating Milo to the school recently.
“We will be giving them biscuits too,” she said.
“It not only helps to fill the people’s stomach, it also teaches students to be caring.”
Those who want to donate to the food bank or the school, you can contact Adura at (05-3225150) during school hours.