Fortnightly food aid for poor families

(Front row, from left) Kaliyappan, Tharman, Muhammad Shameer, Zairil, Lee and Tan holding posters announcing the food aid programme which will start next month for needy families living in Tanjung Bungah and Pulau Tikus.

PENANGITES in the B40 category staying in Tanjung Bungah and Pulau Tikus will be given free vegetables and fruits through the Mutiara Food Bank programme from next month.

B40 stands for the bottom 40% of households with a monthly income of RM3,900 and below.

Tanjung Bungah assemblyman Zairil Khir Johari said the programme would be held fortnightly benefiting the needy in these two areas.

“Excess food from Tesco hypermarkets’ vegetable, fruit and bakery sections will be given out at the Astaka Desiran Tanjung in Tanjung Tokong twice a month.

“Officers from the Social Welfare Department and Agenda Ekonomi Saksama (AES) programme will come up with a list of those in the B40 category and contact those who are eligible to collect food every month,” he told reporters at the Tanjung Bungah market recently.

Zairil added that the Village Community Management Council (MPKK) here would keep track of the food collected and contact the eligible recipients.

Malaysia Hindu Sangam Bukit Bendera Council chairman A. Tharman welcomed the Mutiara Food Bank programme and hoped that the initiative would reach the grassroots of the society.

“Our organisation will help to collect data and deliver them to the assemblyman’s office.”

Mutiara Food Bank deputy chief operating officer Muhammad Shameer Mohamed Sulaiman encouraged MPKK members from other constituencies to participate in the food bank programme to help those in the B40 category.

The Mutiara Food Bank, where excess food from private enterprises is collected and redistributed to poor people, is a state welfare initiative spearheaded by Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Saifuddin Nasution Ismail in 2017 when he was the strategic adviser to the Chief Minister’s Office.

Also present were Pulau Tikus assemblyman Chris Lee, and Penang Island City councillors Connie Tan and P.R. Kaliyappan.

At the event, Zairil also officially launched the newly renovated toilets in the Tanjung Bungah market.

He said the RM60,000 upgrading project involved toilet renovation and upgrading of some of the basic facilities in the market.

He said RM37,000 was spent on the toilet renovation which included the rewiring, piping, flooring and ceiling work to make the toilet waterproof.

“We also widened the drains outside the market, replaced some of the drain covers and hall ceiling panels besides putting bollards so that cars do not stop on top of the new drain covers,” he said while thanking the city council for their effort in making the project a success.

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