NGOs feeding homeless tweak methods under movement control order

Volunteers from Need to Feed the Need hand out food to homeless people in Kuala Lumpur, prior to the movement control order which came into effect yesterday. (NFN pic)

PETALING JAYA: Two groups that feed the homeless are adapting to the movement control order (MCO), which bans mass gatherings.

Spokesmen for Need to Feed the Need (NFN) and Pertiwi said their organisations would continue with their good Samaritan ways to ensure their targeted groups don’t go hungry.

NFN feeds 300 to 400 people at its Medan Tuanku distribution centre in Kuala Lumpur.

Its head of field operations, Adora Yusof, said the centre’s gates would now be open at 7.30pm instead of 8.50pm to reduce crowding.

“Patrons can walk in and get the pre-packed food and leave,” she told FMT. “They don’t have to gather and wait in line for food preparation.”

She said NFN had been reminding the patrons of good hygiene practices and the need to maintain distance since the Covid-19 outbreak, even before the two-week MCO was announced on Monday.

Commenting on the order, she said it would severely affect people in the B40 income group, the urban poor and the homeless.

“These people are the ones who don’t have enough money to stock up on groceries or don’t have access to a kitchen to cook their meals or even a home or shelter,” she said.

Munirah Abdul Hamid, the founder of the Pertiwi soup kitchen, said City Hall had allowed her operations to continue under certain guidelines.

The kitchen has been told to prevent more than five people from collecting food at any one time and to ensure that no two persons are closer than one metre from each other.

Munirah said volunteers had been ordered to sanitise regularly and wear masks.

“We have implemented a safe distribution process with social distancing,” she said.