Many Malaysians are spoilt for choice when it comes to food. Go where your tastebuds lead you, follow the aroma trail and also clean up your plate. With the abundance of food comes a problem that is consistently growing in households, restaurants, hotels and office pantries – food wastage.
When we waste food, we also waste all the energy, water and resources it takes to grow, harvest, transport, and package it. And when wasted food goes into the landfill and rots, it produces methane gas, something that is more potent than carbon dioxide!
Most of us are lucky enough to have food every day, but some still have to think about where their next meal will come from. The hunger dilemma is truer today than pre-pandemic as people struggle to regain economic stability amidst job loss, unemployment and lack of savings.
Thanks to organisations that not only care for the underserved, here are seven organisations that are helping to solve the food waste while feeding the hungry.
#1: Food Aid Foundation
Food Aid Foundation is a Malaysian food bank, established in 2013 as a non-profit governmental organisation (NGO) where manufacturers, distributors, wholesalers, retailers, companies, or individuals can donate their unused or unwanted foods, which are then collected and distributed to charitable or welfare homes, volunteer welfare organisations, refugees, poor families, poverty-stricken, and disadvantaged people. In a nutshell, they salvage excess food from the supply chain and distribute it to those in need.
As of 31 December 2020, they have collected 1,121,000 kg of food and given it to as many as 2,953,000 people. To help with the cause, you can donate to the Food Aid Foundation through cash or food supply or you can volunteer with them by clicking here.
#2: Green Hero
Green Hero is a web platform that allows food and beverage enterprises to channel edible food, reduce waste, and help the environment.
There are three ways Green Hero does it;
- Food Bank is an effort that provides a platform for cafes, restaurants, and food and beverage distributors to channel their leftover or edible food to low-income areas or non-profit organisations.
- Hand of Hope is an initiative in which members of the Green Hero community can sponsor a child in a family for as little as RM90 by channelling food excess to them as supper or breakfast.
- Hope Street by Mushin, also known as Street of Hope, is a programme in which university students and others can help them in saving food from fast food establishments and distributing it to the homeless.
Follow them on Facebook and Instagram for updates.
OLIO is an app that connects neighbours and local businesses so that excess food can be shared rather than thrown away. This could be food that has passed its sell-by date in local supermarkets, extra home-grown veggies, bread from your baker, or the goods in your refrigerator while you go away.
To contribute, simply open the app, add a picture, a description, and the time and location where the item can be picked up. To request, simply look through the available listings near you, request what you want through friendly message, and arrange a pick-up via private chat.
More about OLIO and the list of areas where it is active in Malaysia.
#4: Pasar Grub
Pasar Grub, which opened in November 2019, is a social market dedicated to saving fresh produce by making surplus products widely available and inexpensive to the general public, especially the ones living in PPR Lembah Subang. The team has advocated for the use of rescued produce and has assisted in the distribution of it to those in need. They and their collaborators have continuously assisted over a thousand families to date, particularly during the recent pandemic.
After the head of the community in PPR Lembah Subang reached out to them and told them about the 30 families that were affected by the MCO, Pasar Grub decided to launch Grub Bag 2.0 as an initiative to support the Mak Ciks. Grub Bag 2.0 works by delivering weekly vegetables to the Mak Ciks for a month. You may help by donating a Sayur Bag or purchasing two Sayur Bags, one for yourself and one for the Mak Cik.
SESO collaborates with local companies on a variety of programmes and campaigns to raise awareness and provide food at discounted prices to encourage food waste reduction while also benefiting the community by saving money and increasing sustainability. SESO’s volunteers gather excess food from local supermarkets, grocery stores, and restaurants to prepare a nutritious dinner. Then, they will convert community facilities into kitchens, allowing them to reach out to the neediest members of society by offering warm food in a warm and friendly environment.
Recently, SESO with the contribution from Caketella had purchase household goods for the needy. A total of 78 packages of food aid boxes were delivered around Klang Valley from a donation drive selling curated cake boxes. All in all, they raised over RM5000. You may read further the news by going to their Facebook page.
Be a SESO volunteer, find out more here.
#6: What A Waste
What A Waste (WaW) is an app developed by a like-minded team that strives to reduce the nation wide’s food waste and give it to the marginalised community instead. The app allows you to donate and receive food in three simple steps, and it connects you with any food supplier, no matter how tiny. Local enterprises, caterers, suppliers, retailers, and manufacturers that have the heart to donate their excess food are encouraged to give.
Participating businesses also earn the right to wear the badge of ‘food waste warrior’ and potentially draw conscious customers to patronize them.
WaW recently gave 165 cartons of various snacks and sweet treats to the refugees’ community, Orang Asli community, frontliners, families in need and children welfare homes community. You may read more by clicking on their Facebook page.
Download the What A Waste (WaW) app and become a food donor.
#7: The Lost Food Project (TLFP)
The Lost Food Project (TLFP) is a Malaysian non-profit dedicated to creating a sustainable future by keeping high-quality, nutritious food and other surplus commodities from ending up in landfills by redistributing them to those in need, regardless of religion, gender, age, disability, or ethnic background.
Every week, they save an average of 10 tonnes of high-quality leftover food from the landfills. Supermarkets, manufacturers, and wholesale markets that are devoted to eliminating waste and serving the less fortunate provide TLFP with this extra food and other products. TLFP can serve an average of 33,000 meals per week for their charity partners and thousands of Malaysians living on or below the poverty line with this recovered food.
More on The Lost Food Project (TLFP).
#8: Graze Market
Graze Market was founded in 2019 after seeing how much good food is wasted away simply because it does not satisfy the aesthetic requirements of the shop space.
They’ve come to give good food a second chance to be consumed rather than thrown away. Their product is aimed at non-picky consumers who wish to contribute to minimising food waste in the country while also helping the planet save its limited resources. Given our current global economic situation, it is for individuals who require low-cost food. And it’s for those who want to rejoice in the fact that we’re each one of a kind!
Recently, Graze Market joined the 9.9 sales on Lazada. The collaboration with Lazada allows Graze Market’s products to go beyond Klang Valley, reaching a nationwide audience. Check out Graze Market on Lazada.
Find out the backstory of Graze Market and the amazing work they are doing in giving ‘unwanted’ fresh produce a second chance and feeding the hungry.
EXPLORE OUR SOURCES
- Zaki, A. H. (2019, September 29). Waste not, want not – It’s time we get serious about food waste. NST Online. Link.
- Food Aid Foundation website. Link.
- Green Hero website. Link.
- OLIO website. About. Link.
- OLIO website. Link.
- Pasar Grub website. About Us. Link.
- Pasar Grub website. Donate Now. Link.
- SESO website. About Us. Link.
- What A Waste website. About Us. Link.
- Lost Food Project website. Link.
- Graze Market. Our Story. Link.