PETALING JAYA: Those wishing to help the less privileged in society can now contribute food supplies to Malaysia’s first ever community food box.
Brightly painted with eye-catching graphics, the community food box is conveniently located at the Shell gas station at Setia Alam in Shah Alam.
Speaking to FMT, Dr Madhusudhan, founder of the Teddy Mobile Clinic explained how this project came to fruition.
“During the Movement Control Order (MCO), my friend Alfred and I discovered that there were many families who were in dire need of assistance, especially when it came to groceries,” Madhusudhan said.
So the two pooled their own food bank supplies together and with added contributions from the public, distributed these to those most in need.
“Along the way, we came to know of Suraya Surawan, the owner of the Shell gas station located at Setia Alam. She had been helping families around her area using her own funds and contributions.
“I got in touch with her and since then, we have been working together as the number of families that require help keeps increasing.”
According to Madhusudhan, many families were badly affected by the MCO that was enforced on March 18 to stem the spread of Covid-19. He says however, that despite their hardship, they were hesitant to ask for help.
On the other hand, individuals and NGOs who were willing to help the needy did not have the proper channels in which to do it.
It was during this time that Madhusudhan got in touch with his friend Patricia in Australia, who informed him of a community food box project that was catching on in there to help the most vulnerable in society.
Madhusudhan explained how the community food box works – those who want to contribute can do so by placing food items in the box while those who need food can take whichever items they need without feeling ashamed about it.
“We tend to have extra food at home which often ends up in the bin because it is close to the expiry date.
“Now, Malaysians can opt to donate these items to this community food box. These foods might not be valuable to us but it can definitely reduce the financial burden of another family.”
Besides the community food box in Setia Alam, Madhusudhan says he hopes that other communities will follow suit and set-up one in their neighbourhoods as well.
According to him, a few families have already collected groceries from the community food box.
To ensure the food donated is not past its expiry date, staff at the Shell gas station monitor the supplies regularly.
“For the time being, each family will be limited to three items and photos will be taken as evidence. This will be reviewed if we notice any abuse of goods,” he said, adding that the move was necessary to encourage people to think about others in need like them.
Among the basic food supplies that can be donated to the community food box are rice, sugar, milo, milk powder, baked beans, sardines, wheat flour, margarine, Maggi noodles, bee hoon and cooking oil.
Community Food Box
Shell Gas Station
Persiaran Setia Prima Lot
Pt 12157, Bandar Setia Alam
Setia Alam, 40170 Shah Alam