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Roundup of homeless due to haphazard food distribution

 | August 4, 2017

Soup kitchens should be more organised among themselves so a proper food distribution system can be established in the city.

Munirah-Abdul-HamidPETALING JAYA: The proliferation of soup kitchens and lack of coordination among the various groups operating them, has prompted the authorities to conduct anti-vagrancy enforcement, an aid group said today.

Pertiwi Soup Kitchen chairman Munirah Abdul Hamid claimed that the sudden growth of soup kitchens in Malaysia often led to lack of coordination and cooperation, resulting in food wastage and pollution in the city areas.

“When there are too many soup kitchens giving out food to homeless people, which sometimes takes place on the same day especially during fasting month, it results in a lot of food being wasted,” she said.

“Besides that, piles of garbage and unfinished food lie around, becoming a sore sight not only for locals but also for tourists,” she told FMT.

Munirah was commenting on a report in Malay Mail Online on the operator of the Dapur Jalanan Kuala Lumpur soup kitchen expressing frustration and accusing the authorities of conducting anti-vagrancy enforcement to ensure the Malaysian capital was not unsightly for the SEA Games later this month.

The group criticised the action, reportedly claiming that the homeless should not be treated as though they were criminals.

Munirah said although voluntary charitable programmes were encouraged, too many unorganised food distributions and duplication of services led to food wastage and the unnecessary mess.

She also said the government had designated three places where aid groups could conduct their charity programmes.

These spots where homeless people are able to receive aid – Anjung Singgah at Jalan Hang Lekiu, Medan Tuanku Pusat Khidmat Gelandangan (homeless centre) and Pusat Transit Gelandangan at Jalan Pahang – are all located in the city centre.

In June, several NGOs decided to reduce food wastage during the Ramadan period by trimming down the portions served to the homeless.

According to Institute Onn Ja’afar, which also gives aid for the poor, the large portions were among the main reasons for food wastage. The institute also found that the homeless often received food from different NGOs on the same day.

Feeding the homeless: How to reduce food wastage


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