FAMILIES from among the urban poor in Bandar Utama, Petaling Jaya have been selected to get RM50 Foodbank cash vouchers monthly to help them meet their basic household needs.
Bandar Utama assemblyman Jamaliah Jamaluddin initiated the Foodbank programme for Bandar Utama’s poor residents, and began the effort with nine families in Kampung Cempaka.
“Many do not realise that there are urban poor folk in Bandar Utama who did not get the chance to benefit from government aid such as Kad Peduli Sihat, Kasih Ibu Smart Selangor, Skim Mesra Usia Emas, Insentif Perkahwinan Belia and Skim Air Darul Ehsan, ” said Jamaliah, identifying single fathers and senior citizens without children among those who were entitled to financial support.
“We got in touch with the village chief and went to inspect their houses and living conditions.
“If they are worthy of state financial aid, the Bandar Utama service centre will help them apply for the necessary aid.
“Most importantly, we want to make sure that these people get access to food.”
She said she believed that giving out the vouchers would allow the villagers to spend on groceries they preferred to consume at home.
“However, the voucher recipients cannot use the voucher for unnecessary things like alcohol or cigarettes, ” Jamaliah added.
The application form for Foodbank vouchers were given out so that her office could help identify those in need of food aid.
“We might encounter cases where someone receives lots of financial aid and we want to segregate our Foodbank vouchers better to those who have yet to receive any help, ” she said.
This year, 29 applications were received from the constituency and 18 applicants were chosen from Kampung Cempaka and Kampung Kayu Ara.
A total of RM900 worth of cash vouchers were given out.
“Our first target is to accommodate at least 50 families first, as we would like to ensure the aid is delivered to the right people first, ” said Jamaliah.
“A review will be done every six months to a year to see if the Foodbank vouchers need to be given to the same recipients or new ones.”
Kampung Cempaka Village Community Management Council chairman Theresa Lim expressed gratitude to Jamaliah’s office for reaching out to the less fortunate.
“We used to have a food voucher programme and having this aid again is certainly what our people are looking forward to, ” said Lim.
In her seven years as village chief, Lim identified half of the 7,000 residents in Kampung Cempaka as being in the B40 spectrum with 20 families fitting the bill as urban poor.
“The poor usually do not know where to seek financial help, so this is why we have to approach them and give them the necessary assistance, ” said Lim.
Aside from Kampung Cempaka, another nine families from Kampung Kayu Ara received the Foodbank vouchers on the same day.
The Foodbank vouchers can be used at any 99 Speedmart stores.
Application for the vouchers is open to families. For details, call 03-7726 0441 or get the application forms from Bandar Utama assemblyman’s service centre.
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