PUTRAJAYA: More than 650 tonnes of food was distributed under the Malaysia Food Bank programme to about 238,000 recipients since the programme started in August last year.
Domestic Trade and Consumerism Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution said the amount to be disbursed would increase with the availability of 14 new chiller trucks presented to the Malaysia Food Bank Foundation and the ministry's state directors.
"For a start, we will hand over the chiller trucks to the Selangor, Terengganu, Sabah and Sarawak state directors which will then be used to collect food from the source and head to designated areas for distribution on the same day," he told reporters after the handing-over ceremony of the chiller trucks.
Each truck has a capacity to transport about one tonne of food.
Saifuddin added that it cost the government RM3 million to get these chiller trucks that would be used to distribute food to the B40 group and those at 20 public universities.
On health and food safety, he said the ministry did not receive any complaint so far and the programme stressed on hygiene and a strict sorting process of the food.
The Malaysia Food Bank programme aims at reducing the cost of living for local consumers, especially those in the B40 group.
At the same time, the initiative could also reduce food wastage among Malaysians – a problem which has reached alarming levels at 15,000 tonnes of excess food daily with about 3,000 tonnes still in good condition and safe for consumption.
If the 3,000 tonnes of food can be distributed at its optimum, it can benefit about two million people.
The government set up the Malaysia Food Bank Foundation to ensure a systematic and efficient implementation of the said programme.
The foundation is being helped by highly committed and experienced trustees in ensuring the success of the government’s agenda.