Food bank to help SME, communities

People queuing to get food from TM Foundation under its ‘Inisiatif Tolong Menolong’ programme.

TELEKOM Malaysia Bhd (TM) continues to lend support to affected small and medium enterprises (SME) as well as communities during the Covid-19 pandemic.

In view of the immense impact of this unprecedented period, TM Foundation (YTM) — TM’s social impact-based foundation and corporate responsibility arm — embarked on a food bank programme called “Inisiatif Tolong Menolong” (Help Each Other Initiative).

The two-month programme, which began last month, is aimed at supporting local SMEs such as grocery stores, sundry shops and restaurants as well as communities in need, including B40 families and the homeless affected by the Covid-19 pandemic and movement control order.

For this initiative, YTM is working with TM’s state offices nationwide to identify local SMEs and provide the beneficiaries with basic necessities to alleviate their burden.

YTM director Izlyn Ramli said: “We understand that the MCO is necessary to keep Malaysians safe during this pandemic, but it has brought challenges to our livelihood.

“We will continue to lend a helping hand wherever possible, embracing the spirit of ‘Malaysia Prihatin’ and #kitajagakita.

“The nationwide ‘Inisiatif Tolong Menolong’ adopts a two-prong approach; it provides basic necessities to those in need by purchasing the items from SMEs in the vicinity to help the beneficiaries while assisting in the survival of these businesses.”

Izlyn expressed her gratitude for the support and cooperation of TM state offices and various stakeholders who had worked tirelessly to make the initiative a success.

It is set to benefit more than 140 SMEs selected as collection points for the 14,000 families identified to receive basic food supplies in their respective areas.

This programme is also part of the collective humanitarian efforts of the GLC/GLIC Disaster Response Network (GDRN), for which YTM is co-chair alongside Khazanah Nasional Bhd’s Hasanah Foundation to provide immediate relief to those adversely impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic and natural disasters.

Earlier this year, TM disbursed RM1.5mil via 17 non-governmental organisations nationwide which benefitted more than 10,000 families.

Working together with Persatuan OKU Sentral and GDRN partners, TM contributed a month’s supply of food to frontliners and volunteers at a drive-through vaccination centre set up specifically for the special needs community in Johor Baru, including their guardians and senior citizens.

The TM Group, including YTM, has extended almost RM20mil to date through various initiatives to ease the lives of affected communities.

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