About 186,354 heads of households earning below RM940 a month will benefit from the Food Bank Programme implemented by the Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs.
Its minister Saifuddin Nasution Ismail said the collection and distribution of surplus food was a jointly organised programme by major hypermarkets in the country and Malacca is the pioneer state for the programme.
“This initiative is to ease the people’s burdens, 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,” he told reporters after launching the Malacca state-level Food Bank pilot programme in Tanjung Kling today.
He said the programme had been previously implemented through the ‘Tesco Food Surplus Donation project’ in 2016, whereby 25 families in the state were selected to receive various household necessities by hypermarket operator Tesco.
Saifuddin said the programme was also one of the initiatives to reduce food wastage in line with Malaysia's global commitment to the United Nations’ sustainable development goals, one of which 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 Food Aid Foundation as strategic partners to collect data of target groups to distribute food to the needy.