Food waste is a massive problem in Malaysia. Based on the data released by the Solid Waste Management and Public Cleansing Corporation (SWCorp), Malaysians generated 17,007 tonnes of food waste per day back in 2021. Alongside chronic poverty, conflict and economic shocks, food loss is one of the root causes of hunger worldwide. Food loss also represents a waste of the very resources used to produce food.
The long-term effects of hunger and poor nutrition can be devastating. When people can’t afford enough to eat, they are often denied other basic needs as well — including housing, employment, and healthcare. In collaboration with Pasar Grub and Food Aid Foundation, A-Listers Abel Hao Tian, Iskandar Al-Haziq, Kingsley Tan, and Syafiq Mobin were inspired to channel food aid to assist Lovely Nursing Centre, a nursing home located at University Garden Seaport, Petaling Jaya.
Pasar Grub is a social business that provides a platform that makes essential produce accessible for everyone. Believing in the philosophy that nobody should go hungry in a world of plenty, the social enterprise is committed to connect farmers and distributors to people in need, all while reducing food waste and saving the environment. By purchasing surplus, Pasar Grub is able to provide local farmers and distributors an additional revenue stream.
Andrew Dana Wesley, Co-founder and Director of Pasar Grub, said, “It’s important that we work together with our partners. Whenever surplus occurs, they can ring us up and we’ll arrange for collection. Before we collect, we need to engage the suppliers so that they can have a good idea as to what our mission is. Once they have a clear picture, we’ll proceed with the collection.”
Lye Kok Shiuh, Co-founder of Pasar Grub added, “Most of the time, we operate on a per request basis. It could be daily, or even multiple times a day, it’s entirely dependent on whether suppliers have surplus to offer.”
FOOD AID FOUNDATION
Meanwhile, Food Aid Foundation, is a non-profit governmental organisation (NGO) that rescues surplus from the supply chain and distributes them to people in need. Established in 2013, the organisation’s mission is to reduce wastage and alleviate hunger and malnourishment in Malaysia. Serving as a haven for manufacturers, distributors, wholesalers, retailers, companies, or people to donate their unused or unwanted foods, the organisation collects and distributes to charitable/welfare homes, volunteer welfare organisations, refugee communities, poor families, and soup kitchens.
Dalphine Ong, Chief Executive Officer of Food Aid Foundation said, “We’re excited to collaborate with Augustman as well as the A-Listers. As a food bank, we rescue surplus food and distribute them to people who are in need. Nowadays, many people are impacted by food inflation, and many communities are still suffering because of the pandemic.”
She added, “Normally, we’d queue our trucks to collect the food from supermarkets, and send them immediately to the homes. We’ll reserve some of the food so that we can send them to our kitchen and cook them into nutritious meals. Then, we’d serve them to people who are suffering from hunger.”