Timely aid for senior citizens in need

Helping out: Penang Mutiara Charity and Voluntary Association chairman Lim Teik Aun (right) handing over essential supplies to Khar at his house in Bukit Dumbar, Jelutong. — ZHAFARAN NASIB/The Star

GEORGE TOWN: After weeks of rationing, Khar Cheow Beng, who is blind in one eye, can finally heave a sigh of relief after receiving food and essential supplies.

The 60-year-old, who lives alone, said the supplies could last for a month.

“These items will save me time and money, and I can ration them to cook meals,” said Khar, who was among 15 recipients of the emergency food aid given by the Penang Mutiara Charity and Voluntary Association.

Among the items received were cooking oil, rice, chocolate malt powder, instant noodles and biscuits.

Khar said he was grateful for the aid, especially in these trying times.

He used to collect cardboard and tin cans to sell, and life had been hard since the first movement control order last year.

“I used to work in the construction field, installing mosaic tiles and doing piling work. But as I got older and my eyesight deteriorated, I could not work anymore, so I started collecting recycled items to sell.

“Now with the pandemic, it is even harder for me to move around and I am unable to collect as many recycled items as before,” he said when met at his house here in Bukit Dumbar, Jelutong.

Retiree Teh Sai Ngor, 74, who is recovering from a mild stroke, said she was grateful for the timely aid for her family.

She is staying with both her daughters and a grandson in Jalan Batu Gajah, Jelutong.

“Both my daughters are unemployed as one suffers from seizures while the other lost her job recently.

“I used to work in a coffeeshop but stopped after my health worsened.

“Throughout this pandemic, we have been rationing meals daily to get by. With this aid, we can at least eat better for a few meals and then ration the rest of the items,” she said.

Elderly Caring Team captain Jason Khoo from the association said the team distributed a few boxes of aid containing dry food items and face masks to each of the recipients in Jelutong.

He said they had come a day earlier to identify those who needed help in the area.

“These are mostly people who are old, living alone and unemployed.

“We want to provide them with aid as some have lost their income because of the pandemic,” he said.

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