Malaysian soup kitchens soldier on to serve the poor and needy despite nationwide lockdown

Pit Stop Community Cafe will be feeding the poor and hungry despite the nationwide lockdown tomorrow. ― Picture via Facebook/PitStopCommunityCafe
Pit Stop Community Cafe will be feeding the poor and hungry despite the nationwide lockdown tomorrow. ― Picture via Facebook/PitStopCommunityCafe

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PETALING JAYA, June 1 ― Malaysian soup kitchens are ready to distribute food to the needy and poor as the country enters yet another nationwide lockdown beginning today.

Many will continue cooking for the poor and homeless while others will also be distributing essential items to families in need.

Ready to abide by standard operating procedures such as ensuring proper social distancing, and making sure food recipients are wearing masks before collecting their food packets, here’s a list of soup kitchens in Klang Valley and Ipoh that are reaching out to the needy.

Pit Stop Community Cafe

Packed food and dry food items packed by Pit Stop Community Cafe's volunteers to be given to the homeless and poor. ― Picture via Facebook/PitStopCommunityCafe
Packed food and dry food items packed by Pit Stop Community Cafe's volunteers to be given to the homeless and poor. ― Picture via Facebook/PitStopCommunityCafe

Located in Kuala Lumpur, this soup kitchen will still be continuing with their dinner packet distribution to the poor and homeless despite the lockdown tomorrow.

Cooked food will be distributed to the poor and homeless at 5pm on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.

Its co-founder Joycelyn Lee told Malay Mail that stricter SOPs will be in place such as social distancing measures, mandatory temperature checks and mandatory hand sanitising before recipients collect their food packets.

“Our volunteers will also be wearing masks and face shields.

“Apart from serving dinner, care packets consisting of dry food such as rice, cooking oil, canned food, and sugar will also be distributed to families in need ― and these care packages will last them for two weeks.

“All our care packs for families are carefully calibrated to ensure there are enough carbohydrates and vegetables, with some protein as well,” she said.

Anyone interested to contact Pit Stop Community Cafe or to donate to their organisation, can head over to their Facebook page.

Kechara Soup Kitchen

KSK volunteers packing lunch packets to be distributed to recipients in the Jalan Imbi area. ― Picture via Facebook/KecharaSoupKitchen
KSK volunteers packing lunch packets to be distributed to recipients in the Jalan Imbi area. ― Picture via Facebook/KecharaSoupKitchen

Non-governmental organisation Kechara Soup Kitchen (KSK) will also be providing vegetarian lunch sets to the needy in Jalan Imbi and Medan Tuanku.

Around 120 food packets will be given to recipients in Jalan Imbi daily while around 350 lunch packets will be distributed to recipients in Kuala Lumpur's Medan Tuanku every Saturday.

SOPs will also be observed by both crew members and food recipients such as social distancing measures and making sures its volunteers wear masks.

Its project director Justin Cheah told Malay Mail that apart from serving the vegetarian lunch sets, face masks will also be given to the poor and needy lining up for food.

“I met a food recipient about two days ago and he told me that he hoped that the lockdown would not affect him getting his food.

“And that touched me and made me want to help the needy communities even more.”

Cheah added that apart from cooked vegetarian food, food baskets will also be given to poor families, especially those who are staying in the People’s Housing Project (PPR) flats.

“Many have six to eleven children and with the lockdown, how are they going to sustain themselves?

“We will contact the recipients and leave the food baskets for them to collect to avoid minimal contact and also make sure our volunteers are wearing their double face-masks,” he said.

On a weekly basis, 1,000 families nationwide benefit from its dry food donations from its food bank every month.

Kechara Food Kitchen can be contacted via their Facebook page.

SEED Foundation

Apart from distributing lunch food packets, SEED foundation also gives provisions to the poor and needy. ― Picture via Facebook/SEEDFMalaysia
Apart from distributing lunch food packets, SEED foundation also gives provisions to the poor and needy. ― Picture via Facebook/SEEDFMalaysia

SEED Foundation was established by a group of volunteers with more than 30 years of cumulative experience in managing issues of marginalised communities including transgender people and individuals living with HIV.

It’s executive director Mitch Yusof told Malay Mail that food packets will still be distributed to B40, urban poor, and homeless people at its drop-in centre at Chow Kit during lunch time.

“Food will be given on a first come first serve basis.

“There are days where we can distribute 100 packets of food, while other days we can give 150 packets. It really depends on the donations received,” he said.

Like all other soup kitchens, SOP will be observed such as its crew members will have to wear gloves, face shield and personal protective equipment.

Mitch added that masks and hand sanitisers will be provided each time food recipients collect their food.

Anyone interested in donating to SEED Foundation can surf its Facebook page.

PERTIWI Soup Kitchen

PERTIWI'S volunteers handing out food to the needy. ― Picture via Facebook/PERTIWISoupKitchen
PERTIWI'S volunteers handing out food to the needy. ― Picture via Facebook/PERTIWISoupKitchen

Pertubuhan Tindakan Wanita Islam (PERTIWI) is an organisation dedicated towards addressing the welfare and needs of women and children.

PERTIWI will be reaching out to communities in need such as the poor, homeless, and even Brickfields’s blind masseurs who have lost their incomes due to the movement control order.

Meals are provided four times a day consisting of breakfast, lunch, dinner and supper to communities located in areas such as  Anjung Kelana, Sentul Perdana and Brickfields.

Its founder Datuk Munirah Abdul Hamid told Malay Mail that times have been bad for many Malaysians with the current Covid-19 situation.

“If we are blessed with a bit more, we must share with others so that we bring some comfort into their lives too.

“Helping others gives us inner joy and peace in our hearts,” she said.

Anyone who wants to donate can contact Munirah at 012-2363639 or visit Pertiwi Soup Kitchen’s Facebook group.

Pay It Forward Ipoh Movement

Ipoh's Pay It Forward movement usually distributes dinner packets to the poor and needy coupled with a snack and a mineral bottle. ― Picture via Facebook/PayItForwardIpohMovement-PIFI
Ipoh's Pay It Forward movement usually distributes dinner packets to the poor and needy coupled with a snack and a mineral bottle. ― Picture via Facebook/PayItForwardIpohMovement-PIFI

Established in 2015, Pay It Forward is a movement consisting of dedicated volunteers who feed the homeless on the streets of Ipoh every Saturday.

Speaking to Malay Mail, founder Ho Sue Fun said that with the lockdown being imposed, their usual team of 10 volunteers will be reduced to six volunteers throughout the lockdown period.

“We usually find sponsors who would pay Ipoh’s Marcass Cafe to cook the food for us.

“Then, we would collect these food packets and distribute them to homeless people such as  Ipoh’s UTC, Jalan Yang Kalson, WW Hotel and The Store.

“Apart from the dinner meal, recipients will also get a bottle of mineral water and snacks,” she said.

Ho added that every week, around 250 dinner packets will be distributed to the poor and homeless.

Anyone interested in donating to the organisation, can contact Ho at 012-571 4277 or visit their Facebook page.

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