SHAH ALAM, Oct 21 — The Food Bank Siswa programme will be expanded to include private institutions of higher learning (IPTS) from next year as there is strong demand following its success in helping students from lower income (B40) households at almost 20 public universities.

Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail said the target was for it to be set up at 123 IPTS, including polytechnics and teacher training institutes nationwide.

“Following the success of the food bank we established since August last year, I received many calls from IPTS who want the programme be set up at their respective institutions to help students.

“Even the Finance Ministry’s allocation of RM25 million (at the tabling of Budget 2020) for the programme is also seen as helping us further expand our target recipients from next year,” he told reporters after launching the programme at Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) here, today.

Commenting on the allocation, Saifuddin Nasution said his ministry would improve the logistics requirements of the programme as well as develop a service system so that food aid distribution could be recorded and monitored in line with the increasing number of IPTS in the future.

He said UiTM was the 19th university to launch the programme and some 1,000 students would benefit from it, bringing the total number of public university students in the country receiving such assistance to 7,500. — Bernama