Support Food Bank programme, local supermarkets asked

Chong (second right) gives away Christmas goodies, as Kenji (left) and Jimas look on.

KUCHING: Supermarkets are invited to participate in the ‘Food Bank’ programme, which is meant to help the poor.

According to Deputy Minister of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Chong Chieng Jen, the programme is a good initiative being undertaken to help unfortunate members of the community by giving them food and at the same time, overcoming problems related to food wastage.

“I congratulate the AEON Malaysia Foundation, which always supports the government’s programmes in helping the needy.

“Therefore, I hope supermarkets with unsold food items that are still good, join the Food Bank programme for it (unsold food) to be distributed to those in need in the state,” he said at the opening of the ‘Christmas Celebration and Shopping Session’ hosted by AEON Malaysia Foundation, in collaboration with Dayak Bidayuh National Association (DBNA) at a hotel here yesterday.

Chong, who is Stampin MP and Kota Sentosa assemblyman, said his ministry is facing challenges in getting companies and communities to take part in the programme and thus, he called upon more local community leaders to cooperate in identifying needy individuals in their respective villages so that the aid could be rightfully channelled to them.

“We cannot wait for volunteers or NGOs (non-governmental organisations) to come to our place.

“The involvement of community leaders in obtaining information and identifying those in need in their villages is urgently needed so that the programme could be implemented,” he said.

In addition, Chong said the Sarawak government should also work together with federal agencies and departments in making sure the success of such programmes.

“I hope more community-based programmes such as this could be implemented in the country in the future,” he added, acknowledging Penang as the first state set to launch the pilot programme by the end of this month.

The event also hosted AEON Malaysia Foundation vice-president Kenji Fujita, and DBNA vice-president Jimas Jihel.

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