Food Bank Malaysia, an initiative by the government to alleviate the cost of living, has benefited 45,850 households as of February.
Deputy Prime Minister Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail said the programme, which is also aimed at reducing wastage, succeeded in saving 1,055 tonnes of excess food.
“With this initiative, the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry connects players in the food industry like hypermarkets, supermarkets, manufacturers, restaurants and hotels with its strategic partners, namely Mutiara Food Bank, Food Aid Foundation and Kechara Soup Kitchen, to assist in distributing food aid to the target groups.
“With Food Bank Malaysia, we wish to ensure that no Malaysian goes hungry,” she said when launching the programme for her constituency of Pandan at SMK Pandan Mewah today.
Also present was Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Saifuddin Nasution Ismail.
According to Wan Azizah, NGOs assist in collecting food essentials from hypermarkets and supermarkets involved and distribute it to the target groups in the constituency, where more than 200 people have registered for aid.
Among the hypermarkets and supermarkets involved are Tesco, Econsave, The Store, NSK and Segi.
The deputy prime minister said the pioneer project on the aid programme was implemented in Penang in August 2018.
She said it was successful and serves as a benchmark for implementation in other states like Kelantan, Malacca, Johor, Perak, Selangor, Negeri Sembilan, as well as the capital.
Following the National Committee on Cost of Living (Naccol) meeting on Feb 15, 2019, Wan Azizah had said that the government had also decided to expand the initiative to include higher education institutions to assist students in coping with the cost of living.
The excess food items mainly comprise bread, vegetables and fruits and the people targeted are mostly from the B40 group.