Good feedback for Prihatin Kasih cashless food aid scheme

PETALING JAYA: The government's pioneer Prihatin Kasih cashless food aid programme that went live earlier this month has seen positive feedback from recipients.

The Finance Ministry said Phase One of the programme took off on July 1 for the urban poor and vulnerable groups in the Klang Valley while Phase Two would cover those in Kelantan, Johor, Penang, Kedah, Perlis, Perak, Melaka and Terengganu starting in August.

"Those in Negri Sembilan, Labuan, Pahang, Putrajaya, Sabah and Sarawak would get their cashless food aid between September and October," it said in a statement on Monday (July 5).

The programme was initially announced by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin under the Pemerkasa stimulus package in March, aimed at helping with the cost of living for the poor and urban poor.

The initiative provides an allocation of RM100mil in cashless food aid to 300,00 urban poor households nationwide.

Recipients need not apply, as families that have been identified through the Welfare Department and the e-Kasih database, and have been verified against Bantuan Prihatin Rakyat data, are eligible to receive the food aid.

MyKasih Foundation has been appointed by the government to implement the initiative that runs on the unique technology of the MyKad to distribute aid in a targeted, efficient and secure manner.

Prihatin Kasih beneficiaries would receive RM100 a month for a period of three months, credited directly into their MyKad account, which can then be used to purchase essential food items at the nearest participating retail outlet within their neighbourhood.

"The programme currently has over 300 retail partners nationwide, including Mydin, Giant, Econsave, The Store, Pacific, Milimewa, 99 Speedmart, Lotus Stores (Tesco) as well as independent supermarkets and mini marts.

"Recipients may use the aid to purchase basic necessities such as canned food, milk powder, rice, eggs, cooking oil and others," it said.

It noted that eligible recipients would receive a text message from MyKasih informing them of their confirmed status as a recipient under the programme, as well as the date and time for the orientation briefing session at the nearest participating retail outlet.

This programme is in addition to the RM50mil allocation for food baskets announced in the Permai aid package, followed by the recent Pemulih aid package, where a further RM80mil was allocated to extend the food basket initiative, it added.

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