Platform for feeding the poor


  • Metro News
  • Thursday, 30 Apr 2020

A volunteer loading groceries onto a car for delivery to needy families in George Town.— Photo: CHAN BOON KAI/The Star

TWO friends set up a social media platform to help get food to needy families soon after the movement control order (MCO) was enforced.

After more than a month, the ‘Love Your Neighbour Penang Covid-19’ project has seen grocery aid delivered to 470 needy households with the help of 380 volunteers.

“Among us are food donors, deliverymen and those who are the eyes and ears of the group in identifying those in need of help during the MCO period.

“Some also joined us as Facebook page administrators to manage logistics and communication between volunteers and the needy families.

“Our page is a platform to connect those who want to help and those who need help, ” said one page administrator who wished to be known only as Lyn.

She said the idea struck her after seeing the panic buying which resulted in cleared shelves at stores soon after the MCO announcement.

“We were concerned, knowing that the poor and the vulnerable would not have extra cash to stock up on food.

“Those who are earning daily wages or doing odd jobs with no savings would surely run out of food fast.

“Our mission is to ensure everyone has food to eat during the MCO. We are not trying to provide long-term aid.

“We give priority to families who have run out of food on that very day or those who had their last meal the day before.

“We try to send help on the same day for these cases or within two to three days, ” she said, adding that virtual volunteering is an effective way to mobilise reasonably large groups of people and resources on short notice.

Lyn said they had also pasted posters at low-cost housing schemes in poor neighbourhoods to reach out to vulnerable and isolated communities.

“We will connect those who want to donate or help deliver food with a needy family whose needs match the amount they pledge to donate.

“We will brief the donors on the needy family.

“If they are willing to provide for the family, then we will give banking details of a family member and help arrange the delivery of food.”

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