The purchases will benefit 1,500 families across Klang Valley during the recovery movement control order (MCO).
It is coordinated by Tenaganita, Refuge for the Refugees, Dapur Jalanan KL and Liga Rakyat Demokratik, and formed at the beginning of the MCO to aid families whose members had lost jobs due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The initiative has so far helped feed 41,000 beneficiaries from 8,800 households.
The beneficiaries included local B40 communities as well as migrant and refugee communities in the Klang Valley.
The food relief supplies are dependent on public support, and the organisers are rallying a fundraising drive to sustain families in need across the newly-implemented MCO period.
“We were blown away by the generosity of Malaysians having raised more than RM510,000.
“The sheer number of donations, volunteers and companies that came forward truly reflect our solidarity and identity as a nation that cares, shares and gives.
“It makes me proud to be Malaysian,” said Refuge for the Refugee founder and director Heidy Quah.
For every RM60 donated, a family of five has food supplies for two weeks.
Each food pack consists of pantry staples such as rice, flour, oil, eggs, potatoes and other dry ingredients.
Families with infants are also given one unit of infant milk formula.
“I worried about how to put food on the table.
“After they announced the second and third MCO phases, I felt so scared for my children,” said a father of two and construction worker in Gombak who declined to be named.
A single mother from Klang said there was nothing she and her sister could do to keep their jobs.
“I work at the coffeeshop downstairs with my sister and we were paid weekly. Without this food aid, I don’t know if we would have made it,” she said.
A community leader from Dengkil said all 25 families in his community had been affected by company retrenchments since the start of April, and they had been sharing all the donated food between so many of them.
“We hardly ate in about a week until the NGOs sent food our way,” he said.
Tenaganita programme officer Elise Chen said, “This food relief initiative started as a means to address the struggles faced by the many marginalised communities during the MCO.
“Many lost their livelihoods, while some faced the threat of losing their homes due to unpaid rent. These are issues that many can empathise with.
“Even if the MCO is lifted and life returns to ‘normal’, these communities will continue to face significant challenges.”
Dapur Jalanan KL representative Mohd Ezzuandi Ngadi said, “With the new MCO, we are hopeful that many people will find jobs.
“However, unemployment will be prevalent within the industries where the amount of daily wage earners is higher. Our efforts to aid them will not stop here.”
Liga Rakyat Demokratik representative Amir Abd Hadi said, “This food relief initiative is not over yet.
“We will continue to look after these at-risk communities and stay abreast of their needs.”
Donations can be made to Persatuan Kebajikan Perlindungan Kanak-Kanak Pelarian. For details, email firstname.lastname@example.org