Heineken steps up for long-term food security in Malaysia

Heineken’s directors and employees at the launch of Heineken Cares 2022 earlier this week. — Handout

Heineken Malaysia recently launched its Heineken Cares 2022 programme, which sees the brewery transitioning from short-term food aid to collaborating with seven non-government organisations (NGOs) and community partners to support communities in building capacity for long-term food security.

“At the height of the pandemic, we saw how vulnerable communities were in need of food aid. Responding to the call for help, we launched Heineken Cares in 2021, a social impact programme to connect our employee’s well-being at work with a purpose to support local communities,” said Heineken Malaysia managing director Roland Bala during the launch event at its Sungei Way Brewery.

Heineken Malaysia’s corporate affairs and legal director Renuka Indrarajah shared that this year, they want to move beyond providing short-term relief to communities in need and take it a step further by empowering local communities to start and maintain a sustainable food supply.

“By joining forces with Heineken Cares, our NGOs and community partners will be working on projects such as setting up small-scale community farms and satellite aquaponic systems, establishing and leveraging on existing alternative water systems to support these community farms, as well as distributing food provisions to those in need,” Renuka added.

The NGOs and community partners collaborating with Heineken Cares 2022 include The Lost Food Project, Epic, and PWD Smart Farmability, whose projects are focused in supporting communities in Peninsular Malaysia, as well as Soroptimist International Region of Malaysia, Hopes Malaysia, Hope Place Kuching, and Kupikupifm, whose projects are supporting communities in Sabah and Sarawak.

In 2021, the company pledged one meal to a person in need for every 1,000 steps taken by a Heineken Malaysia employee, eventually delivering 150,000 meals to vulnerable communities across the nation in six months. This was further scaled up during the December 2021 floods, with an additional 100,000 meals and care packages for affected communities.

Taking it a step further, the brewer is calling on its employees to step up and achieve 200 million steps cumulatively from November 2022 to March 2023, subsequently increasing its contributions by committing to providing three meals for every 1,000 steps made by an employee, with a goal to deliver more than 600,000 meals for vulnerable communities across Malaysia.

For more information, visit www.heinekenmalaysia.com or Spark Foundation’s official website: sparkfoundation.com.my. – Michael Cheang

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