Sabah restaurant to hand out free food to the needy

PENAMPANG: An old restaurant establishment is embarking on a free food campaign starting Nov 1, in efforts to help the needy around the area affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Ching Fah Restaurant, which has been operating since 1964 and well known among patrons of Donggongon town, said it will be handing out about 100 packets of “economy rice” starting Sunday (Nov 1) from 1pm onwards.

Owner Hee Kwok Hung said the plan is to have it running for two months daily until December, except during the restaurant’s closing days.

Talking to The Star, he said the idea came about since the temple society nearby which he was a part of, could not send out rice to the needy during the conditional movement control order (MCO).

“I am the vice-chairman of the temple and every month, there are many sponsors for the rice allocation for the poor.

“We did not want to keep the rice too long for fear it would go bad. We discussed and decided giving out the packed food is the best way, ” he said, adding that he volunteered to do it from his restaurant which still operates during the conditional MCO.

He said he limited it to 100 packs a day because he is mindful of those running food businesses around the town, too.

On concerns that people might turn up in crowds, the 64-year-old businessman said that it was a concern for him and had sought advice from the Health Department and the police.

“The Health Department told me to impose health protocols, so on Saturday (Oct 31), we are doing a rehearsal at the restaurant premises, so we can dictate how people will line-up with physical distancing, among other standard operating procedures (SOPs), ” he added.

On whether there might be people who are not less privileged taking advantage of the situation and getting free food for themselves, Hee said they could not stop people from doing so.

“All I can do is advise them that the food is for those who are really in need and could not afford (to buy their own food), ” he said.

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