TAMBUNAN: Parti Solidariti Tanah Airku (STAR) has launched the Gapari Foodbank at the DUN Tambunan Service Centre to serve and assist those in need during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The foodbank was opened by STAR President and Tambunan Assemblyman Datuk Seri Panglima Dr Jeffrey G Kitingan here on Monday.
“We have stocked this premises with food items to be distributed to the people who genuinely need them.
There are noodles, rice, condiments, and we will also buy farm produce from farmers, who couldn’t sell their products, to be distributed to the poor,” he said.
Kitingan said the idea was initially discussed last Thursday, and work began immediately after a budget was set and the venue identified.
The foodbank opens from 9am to 4pm on weekdays. However, it will also open its doors on weekends if there is a need for it.
“The public is welcomed to donate items if they wish to do so. The goal is to ensure that nobody goes hungry. If you need something to eat, come here, and we will help you.
“I know that this location may be a bit far from villages where these items are most needed. They don’t have to come down here if they cannot travel.
“All they have to do is contact their JPKK and provide a list of the items they need as well as the number of people in their household. We will deliver to their doorsteps, free of charge.
“We are also looking into a more convenient way to transport these items, perhaps buying a small lorry to make the travel easier,” he said.
While there is no limit to the number of items one can take from the foodbank, Kitingan said he hoped the people would be responsible to one another and take only what they needed.
The foodbank will operate as long as the MCO is in effect and the people require it.
“After MCO, I want this initiative to be a permanent fixture of our service centre. We can even transform it into a mini-market, offering local produce at very affordable prices,” he said.