Homeless not forgotten

Doing their part: Kembara Kitchen crew preparing food packs to be distributed to the poor.

PETALING JAYA: The underprivileged and the homeless are not being neglected during Ramadan as soup kitchens continue to reach out to them amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

Kembara Kitchen co-founder Chan Yi-Lyn said the main challenges during the fasting month were movement restrictions and logistics issues.

“To safeguard our crew, movement is somewhat restricted, which makes food distribution a bit of a challenge.

“However, we potentially have a mobile kitchen programme in the works with a client.

“If we get this programme up and running, and if successful, it will definitely help financially, ” she said when contacted.

Kembara Kitchen cooked 200 packs of meals for buka puasa (breaking fast) last Friday.

Since its catering business has taken a backseat over the past one year due to the pandemic, and with Kembara Kitchen focusing on community assistance programmes, Chan said it had also been challenging to garner support for sales rather than for donations.

“The public has sort of forgotten that Kembara Kitchen is designed as a social enterprise, ” she said.

Kechara Soup Kitchen project coordinator Justin Cheah said there was a lack of volunteers, especially in giving a helping hand to the urban poor.

The non-governmental organisation managed to give out 6,518 meal sets as at March to the urban poor and those living in the streets of Kuala Lumpur, Johor Baru and Penang.

The set includes a hot meal, disposable face masks, biscuits and mineral water.

Its medical team also treats as many as 24 people weekly.

One of those treated was a bedridden woman recently discharged from hospital and in urgent need of medication.

Another soup kitchen, Need to Feed the Need, is also distributing food to these targeted groups.

“We haven’t been to our regular distribution spot for a year.

“Some of the crew members were there on Friday. It feels great to be back, ” said the group.

The group said its activities were conducted in line with the standard operating procedure set by the authorities.

“There were Kuala Lumpur City Hall officers on-site to help with check-in, registration and temperature checks, ” it said.

Rice, vegetables, curry chicken as well as kuih given by anonymous donors were distributed.

The group estimates that it can feed 300 to 350 people during each distribution.

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