Govt allocates RM3 million for national food bank programme

Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Saifuddin Nasution Ismail.

PUTRAJAYA: The government today announced that it has approved a RM3 million allocation for the provision of 14 lorries equipped with chillers for the Food Bank Malaysia programme for the B40 group and 20 public universities.

Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng, who made the announcement here, said it is a public-private initiative to extend the reach of food banks set up by NGOs and the private sector.

Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Saifuddin Nasution Ismail, who was also present, said the Food Bank programme started at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia on Feb 26, and Universiti Malaya on March 7.

The programme is also expected to be launched at Universiti Putra Malaysia, UiTM, Universiti Malaysia Pahang, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Universiti Utara Malaysia and Universiti Malaysia Sabah.

Saifuddin said his ministry had obtained the cooperation of 430 supermarkets which would contribute their surplus food to the programme. These include Tesco, Giant, Aeon, NSK, Econsave, Mydin and LuLu.

The process will be handled by the ministry’s strategic partners including the Food Aid Foundation, Kechara Soup Kitchen, and Mutiara Food Bank.

Saifuddin added that his ministry would source for undergraduate volunteers to distribute the food on campus.

He said his ministry is in the process of drafting legislation for the implementation of food banks in the country, which will be tabled in Parliament by the end of the year.