Over 39,000 food aid packs reach needy folk

Volunteers handing out food supplies to a recipient at the organisation’s Bukit Jelutong Recycling Centre in Shah Alam.

THE effects of the movement control order because of the Covid-19 pandemic has no doubt affected many businesses and families.

Following the many requests for help from those affected, a food care programme aimed at easing the financial burden of affected families was started by the Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Tzu Chi chapters.

For the past two months, Tzu Chi volunteers had been distributing food supplies to needy families at more than 40 locations in Kuala Lumpur and Selangor on an almost weekly basis.

From mid-July until early September, 295 food distribution points were set up on Sundays where 39,050 sets of food items enough for 175,456 persons were distributed to needy families.

The last session, held at 45 locations last Sunday, saw an estimated 6,000 families benefitting from the programme.

To ensure the safety of volunteers and the public, the organisation ensured that only volunteers who had received at least their first dose of vaccine were mobilised for the project.

Prior to the distributions, volunteers contacted each beneficiary family to inform them of their allotted time slots for the collection of food supplies as well as to inquire about their health status.

To safeguard the well-being of its members and beneficiaries during the distribution, additional measures were taken on top of the usual standard operating procedure.

Volunteers were required to use masks, face shields and gloves, while beneficiaries were required to scan a MySejahtera QR code, check their temperature and sanitise upon arrival.

Despite the number of beneficiaries during the distributions, Tzu Chi members still took time to understand the plight of those in need and the difficulties some were experiencing.

One such case was of a lorry driver whose income was badly affected, but who still donated some money to the cause that he in turn was benefitting from.

“This is not much, but I am glad that I can help others,” said the man, who was not identified.

He also hoped that the Covid-19 pandemic would end soon so that everyone could return to their normal lives.

From their conversation, Tzu Chi members came to know that his five children had to take turns to attend online classes as they had only one smartphone at home.

The children could not attend classes when the lorry driver was at work.

A few days later, the volunteers delivered a used computer and a tablet to the family for which he was very thankful.

The project also inspired kindness in others.

Some suppliers upon learning of the project, made donations of food supplies or offered special prices for the purchase of items that were to be distributed.

An employee of a company even called on 20 of his co-workers to donate rice as they worked together with Tzu Chi to contribute to the community.

Tzu Chi stated that it would continue to reach out to families impacted by the pandemic and in need of assistance.

Anyone who needs help can call Tzu Chi KL and Selangor careline at 03-9078 3388.

Those who wish to donate can visit www.tzuchi.my

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