Timely aid for families celebrating Deepavali

Vidyananthan (left) handing a food hamper to a recipient while Care United Johor Baru president Goh (right) looks on.

KLUANG: In conjuction with Deepavali, non-governmental organisations are taking the initiative to distribute food aid to the less fortunate and add some festive cheer into their lives.

Security guard K. Sivaraj, 71, who received a food hamper distributed by Rotary Club of Kluang recently, said it was a welcomed surprise.

“I am a widower living with my unemployed daughter.

“I am thankful to receive the food hamper and it cheered up our festive celebration this year, ” he said.

Another recipient was S. Chincyma, 49, whose husband passed away a few years ago.

“I run a small stall at a food court to support my family but my business was severely affected by the Covid-19 pandemic and we are facing financial difficulties.

“With this food hamper, I can have some peace of mind and celebrate Deepavali with my three children, ” she said.

Rotary Club of Kluang president Chia Kok Yew said Sivaraj and Chincyma were among 91 families who were given food hampers under its Gift of Love initiative.

“We realise that the Covid-19 pandemic has affected the livelihood of many people and some families are struggling to survive.

Rotary Club of Kluang members presenting food aid to some recipients in conjunction with Deepavali.Rotary Club of Kluang members presenting food aid to some recipients in conjunction with Deepavali.

“This timely project is our way of helping them to weather these difficult times, ” he said, adding that the club has been involved in foodstuff distribution to the poor and needy since the movement control order (MCO).

He added that the food hampers were distributed to urban poor families in the area, with items delivered to hardcore poor and people with disabilities who do not have transport.

“The hampers, which cost RM100 each, contain various foodstuff that are considered as essentials for Deepavali, including murukku and other snacks, ” he said.

Chia also thanked Kuala Lumpur-based Asia Pacific Forum on Families Malaysia (APFAM), a United Nations-recognised organisation involved in helping families from the lower-income group, for their fund contribution.

Meanwhile, Care United Johor Baru (Care United JB) president Datuk Florence Goh said they also distributed food hampers to 100 people from low-income families in the Ulu Tiram area in Johor Baru.

The food aid, valued at RM100 per box, included everyday essentials such as 5kg rice, canned food, cooking oil, powdered drinks, flour and rice vermicelli.

The recipients were also given two boxes of face masks courtesy of Durio PPE Sdn Bhd, she said.

“The hampers were distributed by state health and environment committee chairman R. Vidyananthan at a ceremony in Taman Dato Chellam, Ulu Tiram.“We hope that the food aid will help the families reduce their household expenses, especially during the festive season, and add some Deepavali cheer.

“The event was made possible thanks to the continued support of donors and we hope that corporate partners and the public can continue supporting the community work done by us throughout the year.

“The latest 100 recipients bring our total to about 700 families given such assistance this year, ” she said.

Goh added that with the conditional movement control order in place, Care United JB also adhered to the necessary standard operating procedures and maintain physical distancing when distributing the items.

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