PUTRAJAYA: The first distribution centre for the Malaysian Government's Food Bank programme is expected to be operational in February.
Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail said they have identified the location for the centre in Kajang.
"We are still renovating the place before inviting the media when we launch the place," he said in a memorandum of understanding (MoU) signing ceremony between Food Bank Malaysia Foundation and Nestle Malaysia on Tuesday (Jan 14).
"When we receive the goods from donors, we need to sort them out in a disciplined manner. With our distribution centre, we will be more organised in our preparation," he said, adding that this is vital as their resources have expanded significantly since the Food Bank programme kickstarted in 2018.
He said he has requested for the distribution centre to be made ready "as soon as possible", and it is expected that it will be operational in February.
His ministry, he added, will be targeting to set up the Food Bank programme in 123 higher education institutions, teacher's training institutions and polytechnics.
Currently, there are 21 public universities in which low-income students benefit from the programme.
The recently passed Food Donors Protection Bill, he added, is expected to encourage more donors such as hotels to donate their leftover food.
He added that the latest legislation, when gazetted, is expected to boost contributions of these corporations by about 20%.
The Bill aims to encourage individuals and corporations to donate food by affording them protection against civil action, unless it is proved that they have caused personal injury, disease or death due to their negligence or willful misconduct.