SOME 500 people from various non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in Penang’s northeast and southwest districts received food aid from the Agriculture and Food Industry Ministry (Mafi) via the Federal Agricultural Marketing Authority (Fama).
The food comprising fresh vegetables, fruits and other items were handed over to the NGOs’ representatives by Mafi Deputy Minister I Datuk Seri Ahmad Hamzah.
The event under the Mafi Prihatin programme was held at the Penang Muslim Boys Orphanage in Jalan Ayer Itam on Saturday.
Ahmad said the fresh vegetables were donated by the state Health Department while the other items were donated by small and medium entrepreneurs.
“The Mafi Prihatin programme aims to help farmers market their products and at the same time, lessen the burden of the people,” he said.
Ahmad and his entourage later visited the PPV at SPICE Arena to distribute food packs to the frontliners who were on duty.
The Mafi Prihatin programme has benefited 71,491 people at 400 locations nationwide since its launch on May 27.
In Penang, the programme has helped 1,162 people at 24 different locations with more than five metric tonnes of food already distributed.
Ahmad said that besides Mafi Prihatin, the ministry through Fama had created 54 controlled fresh markets (pasar segar terkawal or PST) which involved 2,788 agriculture traders nationwide.
From June 1 till Aug 12, Fama recorded a total sales of RM87.97mil through the PST.
Present during the food aid donation handover were state Fama director Mohd Azraei Ramli, state Agriculture Department director Mohd Muhaimin Ibrahim and Fama board of directors member Datuk Wira Ghazale Muhamad.
Among the NGO representatives who attended the event was Penang Trishaw Riders Association chairman Abdul Latif Mohd, 74, who thanked the ministry and Fama for the timely aid.
Other recipients of the food aid were representatives from Penang Single Mothers Association as well as Gabungan Persatuan Pemandu Teksi dan Pemandu Kereta Sewa Pulau Pinang.
The aid was also for the homeless and the B40 group.