MELAKA, Sept 28 — About 186,354 heads of household earning below RM940 a month will benefit from the Food Bank Programme implemented by the Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs (KPDNHEP) to ease their burden.
Minister Datuk Saifuddin Nasution Ismail, said the collection and distribution of surplus food was a jointly organised programme by major hypermarkets in the country and Melaka was the pioneer state for the programme.
“This initiative is to ease the people’s burden caused by the rising cost of living and reduce food wastage in Malaysia.
“The Ministry is planning to run the Food Bank programme on a trial basis together with major hypermarkets nationwide before it is rolled out across the country at the beginning of next year (2019),” he told reporters after launching the Melaka state-level Food Bank pilot programme in Tanjung Kling here today.
He said the programme had been implemented previously involving hypermarket operator Tesco owned by Tesco Stores (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd (Tesco Malaysia) through the ‘Tesco Food Surplus Donation project’ in 2016.
Twenty-five families in the state were selected to receive various household necessities in an effort by Tesco to ease the burden of those in need.
Saifuddin Nasution said the programme was also one of the initiatives to reduce food wastage in line with Malaysia's global commitment to sustainable development goals under the United Nations that is to reduce food waste by half by 2030.
“Therefore, I urge and invite retailers, manufacturers and the hotel industry in the country to join the ministry in making the Food Bank programme a success,” he said.
According to him, the ministry has already identified Kenchara Soup Kitchen and the Food Aid Foundation as strategic partners to collect data of target groups to distribute food to the needy. — Bernama