Fresh Food Bank
with Daily Bread Food Bank
As the world finds ways to mitigate the consequences of COVID-19, the marginalized and indigent communities are struggling with food and nutrition insecurity in the midst of the pandemic, being unable to compete with the rest of society for access to nutritious food that is affordable.
Meanwhile in Petaling Jaya, local NGO Daily Bread Food Bank has teamed up with social enterprise PWD Smart Farmability in making fresh, organic, nutritious, and live, unrefrigerated vegetables for the poor, establishing that nutritious food should not be a luxury, but a basic human right.
This is made possible through a groundbreaking innovation by Dr. Billy Tang, paraplegic farmer and founder of PWD Smart Farmability. Even in his wheelchair, he has designed the world’s first Organic Vegetable Terrarium that is self-watering in an enclosed container, whereby the vegetables are grown on nutrient dense soil with advanced soil biology, and the vegetables can regenerate for the next 3 to 12 months.
This innovation enables the families to harvest healthy food out of the terrarium without being a farmer themselves.
“With the sudden halt of the global food chain, a global urgency to decentralize food production, bringing food production as close to homes as possible, is more crucial than ever,” explains Dr. Billy Tang, “Moreover, this pandemic is a direct war between a virus and our body’s immune system. This puts families who can’t afford to eat healthily the most at-risk of contracting diseases and viruses, especially people with disabilities.”
Angie Ng, the director of Daily Bread Food Bank, has expressed that this Organic Vegetable Terrarium will make significant impact in the health of poor families. The food bank currently subsidizes essential food to over 200 families, numerous children and elderly homes, and drug rehabilitation centers, feeding at least 1000 people of mixed communities every month.
However, donations of meat and vegetables are very rare due to their perishable shelf-life. “With this terrarium, our beneficiaries now have a healthier option previously unavailable to them,” says Angie Ng.
In the initiative of Scaling Up Nutrition, a global movement to end malnutrition in all its forms recognised by the United Nations, the team has been running adoption programs with the Organic Vegetable Terrarium to encourage individuals and corporations alike to adopt terrariums to benefit families of low food-budget.
“People with disabilities, senior citizens, and children are still the most at-risk of nutrient deficiency and related illnesses. Around the world, more than 70% of the world’s human populations die from Non-Communicable diseases,” explains Dr. Billy Tang, “as the global food chain is threatened by unethical commercial farming methods, we need like-minded organisations to restore both human & planetary health.
To date, over 3500 Organic Vegetable Terrariums have been adopted by corporations, organisations, and individuals alike in Malaysia. Over 650 boxes are now feeding individuals of all economic backgrounds. PWD Smart Farmability is open to all organisations who want to make a positive and sustainable change through Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), Creating Shared Value (CSV), or Economic Sustainability Governance (ESG).
Together with Daily Bread Foodbank, we have been able to make a complete balanced diet consisting of carbohydrates, proteins, fibres, vegetables, and fruits available to our beneficiaries.
Under this joint project, we have been able to make fresh, nutritious, and organic food available to hardcore poor groups such as orang asli fishermen tribes and several Myanmar refugee groups who were unable to perform odd jobs to make ends meet. These families also have newborns that were birthed during the pandemic, making the need more dire in the midst of COVID-19.
Check out our past Facebook posts detailing the progress of our project with Daily Bread Food Bank as follows: