SUNWAY has embarked on its Food for Thought campaign with a target to distribute 4,050 packed meals to Klang Valley’s urban poor in need of nutritional support during the conditional movement control order (MCO) period.
According to the United Nations Population Fund (Unfpa)-Unicef study conducted in May this year, one in four heads of households were unemployed during the MCO period and that most of those who lost their jobs had no form of employment protection.
Earlier Unicef studies also showed that lower-income families were struggling to cope, as families drawing monthly incomes of below RM5,000 were forced to consume less food despite having to spend more money on it.
Beneficiaries of the programme which ran from Oct 23 to 31 were the homeless and those residing in People’s Housing Project (PPR) flats, where sole breadwinners had lost their sources of income.
The food packs were provided by malls in the Klang Valley under the Sunway Malls umbrella, namely Sunway Pyramid, Sunway Velocity Mall and Sunway Putra Mall.
Sunway teamed up with non-governmental organisations Kechara Soup Kitchen and Adab Youth Garage to distribute the food packs.
Sunway Group deputy chairman Tan Sri Razman Hashim said it had come to Sunway’s attention that many households were unable to afford sufficient food.
“It is now more important than ever to ensure Malaysians have the basic nutrition needed during these challenging times.
“We have worked with select tenants in our malls to customise halal and well-balanced packed foods with proteins and vegetables.
“We hope this immediate food aid will support fellow Malaysians during this challenging period, ” he added.
Kechara Soup Kitchen operations director Justin Cheah said his organisation had increased food distribution since the conditional MCO was implemented.
“Food security is among the many issues faced by the homeless in the Klang Valley.
Nizam Samsudin, founder of Adab Youth Garage, known for distributing meals to residents in PPR flats and B40 families in Selangor’s urban areas, said families at PPR flats were in dire need of assistance.
“There are many families whose sole breadwinners lost their jobs during the MCO and they are now unable to feed their children.
“Additionally, when people stay at home during this period, those operating small businesses, such as selling food and wares, are highly affected.
“While higher-income families are less worried about consuming sufficient nutrition during this period, it is a primary concern for families living in PPR flats as they try very hard to save money, not knowing how long their hardship will last.
“Their suffering often brings our volunteers to tears and we hope that corporations and other Malaysians will help ease their hardship, ” he added.
The Food for Thought campaign is an immediate nutritional aid programme that follows the #SunwayforGood Food Bank programme which pledges to collect 40,000kg of food, with the aim of surpassing that target by the end of 2020.
The collection intends to feed 25,000 individuals in B40 families worst hit during the Covid-19 pandemic nationwide.
The #SunwayforGood Food Bank programme is among the #SunwayforGood initiatives that have helped 38,487 people this year.
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