Food aid for undergrads

Saifuddin cutting the ribbon held by Sihabutheen in front of the van donated by PPRIM. Present (from right) are Abdul Wahab and Domestic Trade and Consumers Affairs deputy secretary-general Datuk Rostam Affendi Salleh.

SOME 1,000 students from Permatang Pauh on Penang mainland have been chosen to receive assistance from Food Bank Malaysia.

The students, comprising 800 from Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) Penang and 200 from Seberang Prai Polytechnic, were chosen based on their low-income family background.

Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail said Persatuan Pengusaha Islam Malaysia (PPRIM) was the main contributor of food aid for the Food Bank Malaysia programme in public institutions of higher learning in Penang.

Saifuddin (in white)presenting food items to students after launching the Food Bank Siswa programme at UiTM Penang in Permatang Pauh.

“They also donated a van to main strategic partner Mutiara Food Bank to launch the implementation of the Food Bank programme for students in Penang,” he said.

He was speaking to reporters after launching the ‘Food Bank Siswa’ programme at UiTM Penang in Permatang Pauh recently.

Also present were state executive councillor Phee Boon Poh, who is also Mutiara Food Bank chairman, state executive councillor Datuk Abdul Halim Hussain, state secretary Datuk Seri Farizan Darus, UiTM Penang deputy rector (academic affairs) Assoc Prof Dr Ahmad Rashidy Razali, PPRIM chairman Datuk K.K. Sihabutheen Kirudu Mohamed and Yayasan Food Bank Malaysia chief executive officer Abdul Wahab Long.

Saifuddin said the Food Bank Malaysia programme in university campuses was launched at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Universiti Malaya and Universiti Putra Malaysia recently.

He said the programme would be extended to Sabah and Sarawak soon.

He said the Food Bank Malaysia programme had benefited 48,850 households nationwide since its launch in December last year.

“During that period, 1,055 metric tonnes of surplus food was saved and channelled to deserving households.

“It is an ongoing and non ad hoc programme to benefit more people in need, including students in institutions of higher learning.

“The government is committed to help people in the bottom 40% of the low-income group (B40), including students in public universities,” he added.

By: M. Sivanantha Sharma