500kg of unsold Ramadan bazaar food, drinks rescued for charity in Kedah so far

SUNGAI PETANI: A total of 500kg of unsold food and beverages from various Ramadan bazaars in Kedah have been rescued for charity purposes under the ongoing MySaveFood@Ramadan 2024 programme to date.

Kedah MySaveFood campaign coordinator Mohd Firdaus Mukhriz Abdullah said 16 Ramadan bazaar locations were selected to make the programme a success compared to only nine locations last year.

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"One of the earliest locations was the Tapak Penjaja Ramadan baazar in Changlun which lasted for three days from March 18...we managed to save about 280kg of unsold food and drinks there.

"At Pekan Sik’s Ramadan bazaar, we managed to save about 100kg of food and drinks between March 21 and yesterday.

"There are six more bazaars where the programme is ongoing, including the Taman Ria Ramadan bazaar near here, which is from March 22 until tomorrow," he told Bernama on Saturday (March 23) after distributing leaflets to enlighten traders about the campaign at the Taman Ria Ramadan bazaar near here.

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Mohd Firdaus listed the other locations as - Stadium Ramadan bazaar in Alor Setar (March 21-24), Taman Wira Ramadan bazaar in Sungai Petani (March 21-24) and the Kilang Lama Ramadan bazaar in Kulim (March 22).

The programme will also include the Taman Mahsuri Ramadan Bazaar, Padang Serai (March 23-27); Taman Seri Aman Ramadan Bazaar, Jitra (March 23-April 1); Kepala Batas Ramadan Bazaar (March 23-26), Sungai Korok Ramadan, Kepala Batas (March 26); Kuala Ketil Ramadan Bazaar, Baling (March 26-30); Kodiang Ramadan Bazaar (March 28-April 3) and Pekan Pendang Ramadan Bazaar (April 1).

"In the third year now, we see an increase in traders’ awareness. When we distribute leaflets, traders will usually donate their surplus food and drinks instead of throwing it away,” he said.

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He added that food collected from traders will be weighed, labelled and distributed to the needy including the homeless, houses of worship or tertiary students who live on a tight budget.

"We also emphasise the quality of the food. Each item is labelled for lunch, or supper before 11pm for health reasons.

"Last year, about two tonnes of food and drinks in nine bazaars were saved. I hope that this programme can be carried on to tackle the issue of wastage every Ramadan," he said.

ALSO READ: Some 1,000 health ministry officers to monitor Ramadan Bazaars

Meanwhile, Kedah Ikram Youth secretary Nur Amira Abdul Rahim highlighted that the programme not only serves the needy but also offers an opportunity for the younger generation to engage in volunteer activities, to utilise their free time productively.

"This year more people volunteered. And even if the numbers keep increasing we can allocate that manpower to rescue surplus food and drinks every day throughout Ramadan.

Meanwhile, food trader Rabiatul Adawiyah Sebanyang, 45, expressed full support for the MySaveFood programme and hoped that it would be held throughout Ramadan every year.

ALSO READ: Five Ramadan bazaars to give away unsold food

"It is good because there are traders who do not manage to sell all their food. Even their neighbours will get fed up with the same food if they receive it every day. It is good that the food is collected and distributed. At least, the recipients can get a taste of the bazaar offerings.

"It will be better to do it throughout Ramadan so that traders know there's a designated place to pool unsold food and drinks,” she said. - Bernama

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