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Surplus food for the needy

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MALAYSIANS are known for their love of food.

And as much as they are known to eat, there are those who do not finish their food.

Or establishments who have a surplus of them.

To this end, some organisations have taken steps to give away unconsumed food to the needy.

Recently, Sunway Hotel Georgetown and Sunway Hotel Seberang Jaya announced that they are donating surplus food from their buffets to serve the local community.

It is the first project of its kind in the state.

It is carried out in partnership with Kechara Paradise Penang and in line with Sunway Group’s aim to achieve the United Nations Sustainability Goals (SDGs) on Zero Hunger.

The hotels and volunteers, donated their first batch of surplus food to 12 families earlier this month.

Present at the event were Sunway Hotel Georgetown’s admininistration and finance manager and deputy president of the sustainability committee Alvin Lee and Kechara Paradise Penang manager Patsy Gooi.

Among the organisations that also benefited were Penang Care Centre Associaton, Grace Harmony Home, Sima Handicapped Centre, Children Protection Centre and Penang Cheshire Home.

Gooi said she was thankful for the commitment shown by the hotels.

“We hope to reach out to more families and to get other organisations to join with us in this campaign.”

She added that many of the families living in the city are facing hardship due to unemployment or loss of breadwinners.

“Most of them do not have the luxury of eating at hotels,” she said.

Recipient of the food assistance, who wanted to be known as Lim, said her family was grateful to the hotels for sparing a thought for the needy.

“I know of hotel policies not to give away excess food but the extra food from their buffets can feed many hungry mouths.”

Another food recipient, who did not want to be identified, called on more hotels to donate their surplus food.

“There is a lot of food going to waste from the buffet counters or corporate functions,” he said.

“The surplus food is still good to be consumed and is a hearty meal for those who do not have three proper meals a day.”

General manager of Sunway Hotels in Penang Prakash Kumaran said the food distribution ties in specifically with SDG – Zero Hunger.

“We want to ensure that there is no food wastage at our hotels.

“We hope that by doing our part we are able to lighten the load of those in need.”

He added that Sunway Group had adopted the SDGs following the establishment of the Jeffrey Sachs Center on Sustainable Development at Sunway University via a US$10 million (RM40.38 million) contribution by the Jeffrey Cheah Foundation to the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network.

Consequently, Sunway Hotels & Resorts aligned its 11 hotels and resorts to SDGs that focus on zero hunger.

“This global movement and commitment to end hunger is important, particularly to the homeless and urban poor who are the most vulnerable,” said Prakash.

The move also brought together a hotel staff, guests, and business entities who have pledged to help in a nationwide surplus food redistribution scheme.

“With Kechara Soup Kitchen’s ‘Zero Food Waste Initiative’, we aim to raise awareness on food wastage,” he added.