MCO 1.0 Hunger Relief Jalan Raja Laut
with Rotary Club of Bukit Angkasa
For some of us, what we dread is the boredom that the MCO has forced upon us. For others, it's #hunger.
A large group of invisible poor resides in KL - homeless, jobless, and penniless. Caught in a completely deserted city with no crowd for them to beg from, no shop for them to scrap leftovers from, shut out from society with no access to the news due to having no Internet and illiteracy,, one could only imagine their anxiety with food insecurity.
The Malay idiom Kais Pagi Makan Pagi, Kais Petang Makan Petang describes their situation accurately.
Our missions on the streets gave us a dark moment of realization - that is BEFORE ANYTHING ELSE, FOOD SECURITY COMES FIRST. Before job security. Before worrying about the economy. Before debating about human rights and citizen rights, society will collapse as soon as the current chain of food production fails.
In May 2020, the police announced a lockdown in an area adjacent to where our mission takes place after receiving reports on positive COVID19 cases in Chow Kit. Yet, our team members and social impact partners were relentless in their pursuit to end hunger among the homeless until the MCO was lifted in 12 May 2020.
Every day, Pn. Karimah Koh & Datin Nelly will lead a team of volunteers to cook and distribute food enough for 120 people - of which some of the ingredients include fresh greens sponsored by our farm.
The mission first began when Pn. Karimah Koh and her neighbour Datin Nelly looked outside the window of their condominium, and saw over a hundred homeless, hungry people in the empty streets of Jalan Raja Laut near Chow Kit.
With bleeding hearts that feel for these people, both women went out of their way to purchase groceries enough to feed 120 people - and dedicated their kitchen at home just to cook for them while they themselves fast for Bulan Ramadhan.
Dr. Billy Tang, founder of PWD Smart Farmability and a close friend to Pn. Karimah Koh emphatized with her burden and the hunger of the people on the streets.
Anngerliz Hn'g and Kok Fong Giap, both friends of Dr. Billy Tang, have been raising funds from the public to feed other groups of the needy. When Anngerliz heard of our mission from Dr. Billy Tang, she communicated our plight to her brother Ken, who works with Lala chong seafood Restaurant.
Ken proposed to Yim, the owner of the restaurant, the idea of committing their kitchen on alternate days to ease Pn. Karimah and Datin Nelly's burden of cooking for hundreds everyday.
When they heard the plight of the homeless, they did not hesitate, even with their hands already full from preparing meals for construction workers who were laid off during this difficult period of time, on top of providing food support for Myanmar refugees of the Lisu tribe.
On the streets, word has spread that there's a bunch of people dressed in blue and a man in a wheelchair who are giving away warm, delicious meals that come with a dessert and clean water. The queue went from 120 to 150, from 150 to 200.
On good days, some of them declined to receive the food and did not join the queue, even though they were hungry. They've had lunch already today, they said. Let the ones who had not eaten for the whole day have a chance at receiving the food.
In this project, we want to highlight the importance of Food Security among the Urban Poor (homeless, jobless, hardcore poor) - as this group is one of the most at-risk groups of contracting viruses and Non-Communicable Diseases. We know for a fact that this pandemic is a war between our immune system and a rapidly-evolving virus.
The saying goes - OUR DEFENSE IS ONLY AS STRONG AS OUR WEAKEST LINK.
A quick visit to any government hospitals will open your eyes to see this reality - that one's socioeconomic status is directly related to their health inequalities. Socioeconomic problems, health and food insecurity continue to be the problems of the low income group or B40.
The act of going down to the streets to feed this group of people with nutritious food addresses several issues:
✅ To reduce hunger-induced crimes eg. theft, robbery
✅ Hunger-relief with high-quality, nutritious food
✅ Strengthening their body's natural defenses
✅ To raise awareness that nutritious food availability directly affects our public healthcare system
✅ To champion nutritious food as a human right - not a luxury sold only to the rich
Ending Poverty is indeed a big dream - but like all big goals, none are ever achieved alone. We need organisations and individuals to join us in this cause.
Our mission is not limited to ending hunger in the streets. We are working together with multiple organisations to raise awareness on how the current food production must be revolutionised.
We are endlessly grateful to our impact partners below for sponsorships in cash and kind to help our team feed 150 to 200 people per day, everyday, for the past 2 months. With their help, we have distributed over 7,000 packs of warm meals:
👍🏻 Rotary Club of Bukit Angkasa, Rotary Club of Gombak, Kuala Lumpur, & Rotary Club of Bangsar for sponsorship, volunteers, and PPE
👍🏻 Lala chong seafood Restaurant, for cooking packed meals every alternate days
👍🏻 Daily Bread Food Bank, for donating 20 whole chickens
👍🏻 PAL Marketing, for connecting us to Golden Corn Marketing S/B who donated 60kg of corn
👍🏻 Comofish Design, for connecting us to Mama's Delights who donated 40 packs of sauce
👍🏻 Secret Recipe Malaysia, for offering to cook when our kitchen is exhausted
👍🏻 Elixus Agency and Growth PJ, for your donation in cash without any hesitation
👍🏻 AHA Services Malaysia, for your donations of groceries as soon as you heard of our cause.
We are also very grateful to our volunteers and individual donors who made this mission a success.