DRESSED in National Day-themed attire and face mask, Lim Chee Hoon, 61, lined up with hundreds of others to receive a goodie bag in front of Hunza Properties Bhd’s Penang International Commercial City sales gallery in Bayan Lepas.
Lim, who is unemployed due to the movement control order, expressed gratitude for the aid.
“The dry food items in the goodie bag will last a whole week for my family.
“As for my attire, it is to mark the upcoming National Day,” said Lim, who loves dancing.
Hunza Properties gave away the food baskets under its Penang Premium Business Enterprise Association’s (PPBEA) Caring Food Basket Charity Programme which started on July 28.
Another recipient was retiree Ahmad Muhamad Mahmood, 72, who is single and lives alone.
“These food items will definitely come in handy for me,” he said, adding that he found out about the food basket giveaway from his friend.
S. Jenambal, 63, was happy to receive her goodie bag as she recently lost her job as a security guard.
“I live in Lip Sin Garden and my neighbour told me to come and get a food basket as the giveaway is being held within walking distance from my house.
“I always cook at home and the dry food items that I received can last me for a few weeks,” she said.
Jenambal is living alone as her husband passed away about a year ago and she has no children.
PPBEA president Datuk Seri Khor Teng Tong said the association was keen to organise charity programmes to help those affected by the serious Covid-19 situation in the country.
“Many businesses are suffering losses.
“This is a long-term battle for all of us and we hope to be able to do a little for society.
“Our organisation has initiated several donation programmes this year.
“They include donating medical devices to Penang Hospital and food baskets to a charity home in Ayer Itam plus this Caring Food Basket Charity Programme.
“To make sure that the standard operating procedures are strictly adhered to, around 50 staff from Gurney Paragon Mall and Hunza Properties Bhd volunteered to help distribute the food items.
“We also hired several Rela personnel to make sure that everything is under control.
“We hope that by kickstarting this initiative, we will encourage more people and associations to help the needy community.
“We are also thankful to the public who donated dry food items to us,” he said.
Meanwhile, PPBEA secretary Datuk Louis Ng said the association had given out around 600 food baskets a day and more than 6,600 sets of food items throughout the 11 days of the programme.
“The initiative was suggested by one of our members during a meeting.
“Our association raised about RM300,000 within a short period to start the Caring Food Basket Charity Programme.
“The goodie bags contain rice, oil, canned food and instant noodles among others.
“We will also prepare halal hot meals for those who turn up to collect the bags.
“We hope that through this, we can also help local hawkers,” he said.
Also present at the goodie bag handover were PPBEA vice-president Datuk Seri Goh Eng Hoe, PPBEA committee member Datuk Lee Leong Hock and Hunza Group executive director Datuk Lily Tan.
Themed ‘Stronger Together’, the food basket charity programme was held at Gurney Paragon Mall in Gurney Drive and the sales gallery in Jalan Tun Dr Awang every Monday, Wednesday and Friday from July 28 until recently.
PPBEA, which was registered in 2019 with the Registrar of Society, is made up of captains of various industries in Penang.
They strive to be a platform for information exchange pertinent to businesses and also an avenue for business networking and social activities within the country and regionally.
PPBEA also assists the authorities by providing business information to facilitate good policy formulation.