LEFTOVERS from Ramadan buffets usually fill the garbage cans, but thanks to the #ZeroFoodWastage campaign which was initiated last year by Selangor princess Tengku Zatashah Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah, the surplus food from buffet dinners served at Sunway Resort Hotel and Spa will be given to Kechara Soup Kitchen Society to feed the homeless and urban poor in Malaysia.
“I’m looking forward to the day when there are no more hungry people to feed,” said Tengku Zatashah, adding she was delighted that Sunway Resort Hotel and Spa has chosen to champion this programme on a larger scale this year.
“It will be rolled out across all Sunway Hotels and Resorts in Malaysia.”
The campaign marked the first event this year for the Sunway Food Programme, which is made up of three components focused on achieving goals number one and two ― no poverty, and zero hunger respectively ― of the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals.
During the press conference, Sunway Group deputy executive chairman Tan Sri Razman M. Hashim said many Malaysians are fortunate to have an abundance of food. As such, they may not have given much thought to the 270,000 tonnes of food wasted every Ramadan.
“By educating the public about food wastage, doing good deeds and feeding the homeless and urban poor, we can make small changes for a better and sustainable future,” he said.
While this is Sunway Resort Hotel and Spa’s second consecutive involvement, this time around it was joined by sister hotels Sunway Clio Hotel and Sunway Pyramid Hotel. With that, it hopes to continue its partnership with Kechara beyond the Ramadan month.
Other hotels in the group such as Sunway Putra Hotel KL, the Banjaran Hotsprings Retreat in Ipoh and Sunway Hotels in Georgetown and Seberang Jaya, Penang respectively, will come on board next month ― upon completion of their respective operational and food safety compliance measures.
Kechara Soup Kitchen Society president Henry Ooi said Kechara feeds an average of 80 families and over 100 homeless people every night with the participating hotels’ excess food.
He said there is a need to educate the public about food wastage.
“Education begins at home. Let’s educate our children, loved ones and friends not to waste food.”
Apart from the #ZeroFoodWastage campaign, Sunway volunteers in partnership with the international hunger relief organisation Rise Against Hunger will pack and distribute a total of 240,000 meals across Malaysia in conjunction with the 60th Merdeka celebrations.
The final component will be the grocery collection from Sunway staff for distribution to the urban poor.