SIME Darby Foundation (YSD) has allocated RM660,000 to non-governmental organisation The Lost Food Project (TLFP) to further the latter’s food aid efforts.
The sponsorship started in October last year and will run until September 2024.
The funds will cover TLFP’s operational, transportation and logistics costs associated with its Surplus Food Rescue Programme.
The NGO also received a five-tonne truck as part of the sponsorship, allowing for the collection of more surplus food to bolster its food bank.
The Surplus Food Rescue Programme is supported by Sime Darby Property Bhd as one of the foundation’s donors.
The programme, which was launched at the Kerinchi People’s Housing Project (PPR) in Kuala Lumpur, saw some four tonnes of rescued produce distributed to 500 families.
Present were Lembah Pantai MP’s chief of staff Abdullah Izhar Mohamad Yusof, YSD chief executive officer Yatela Zainal Abidin, TLFP president Zawiyah Saimon and TLFP committee member Adeline Chang Li Yoong.
Yatela said the programme was aimed at addressing food insecurity faced by poor families while reducing food wastage.
“It falls under the community, health and environment pillars of YSD, which aims to address the well-being and health of the marginalised and underprivileged.
“The programme also has the additional benefit of reducing greenhouse gas emissions as less food waste will be sent to landfills, which is part of YSD’s efforts to contribute to climate change action,” she said.
Yatela added that Sime Darby Property, on its part, had sent staff volunteers to provide assistance.
The programme is supported by Pasar Borong Kuala Lumpur, Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL), Federal Agricultural Marketing Authority (Fama) and Solid Waste Manage-ment and Public Cleansing Corporation (SWCorp).
Yatela said more than 560 tonnes of surplus fresh food – equivalent to over 1.6 million servings – had been collected since the start of the sponsorship, benefitting some 18,000 families and residents of 83 charitable organisations.
“With the cooperation of our partners, we aim to save 2,200 tonnes of surplus food, reduce up to 5,500 tonnes in carbon emissions and provide 6.3 million nutritious meals to 24,000 families by 2024,” she added.
Meanwhile, Abdullah Izhar said food security and safety was an increasingly important issue and the programme would be helpful to those in need.
“I hope the programme can be expanded and improved by not only providing nutritious food, but also educating the community on healthy eating habits.
“We plan to organise more programmes in the future to ensure that no family is left behind,” he said.
Besides surplus produce, dry goods and personal hygiene items were also distributed to PPR Kerinchi families during the event.
Housewife Nor Faziliaton Zahirudin, 37, said the programme had helped to ease her family’s financial burden.
“I have three school-going children and only my husband is working.
“It’s very hard to manage the household in the current economic situation, so such programmes are helpful to my family,” she said.
Another resident, who only wanted to be known as Bavani, 43, also welcomed the food aid as prices of goods have increased.
“With programmes like this, we can manage our lives a little better,” she said.