PETALING JAYA: Soup kitchens are struggling to continue feeding the homeless and urban poor amid increases in the prices of goods.
Pit Stop Community Cafe founder Joycelyn Lee told FMT that seasonal rains and supply issues had caused the prices of food, especially vegetables, to rise. On top of that, she said, contributions to her organisation had dwindled.
“Due to resource issues, we recently ceased providing household care packs to families,” she said.
“However, we will continue to support the orphanages and shelters on our current list as much as we can through food rescue activities and sponsorships.”
Pit Stop, which has a kitchen at Jalan Tun H S Lee in Kuala Lumpur, usually prepares 150 meal packs a day four days a week. It serves lunch on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.
Lee also said Pit Stop had seen an increase of 20% in overhead costs from last year. “Along with the prices of goods, our utility bills have gone up. So we are struggling to keep up.”
Another soup kitchen operator, Social and Enabling Environment Development (SEED) founder Mitch Yusof, said there had been an increase in the number of people going to his facility at Chow Kit.
“I’m not sure exactly why, but there has been an increase of about 15% at my soup kitchen,” he said. “And the crowd is leaning more towards the urban poor than homeless people.”
He told FMT that he, too, had been affected by increasing food prices.
Pertiwi Soup Kitchen founder Munirah Abdul Hamid said she had been able to cope with the increasing costs this year but was worried about how her organisation would fare next year.
“Our work is ongoing and we are coping so far, but we are worried about what lies ahead in 2023,” she said.
“It’s not just about the prices of goods. We are also worried about the shortage of eggs and cooking oil.”
Pertiwi distributes its food from a government homeless transit shelter at Lorong Medan Tuanku 2, Kuala Lumpur.