PUTRAJAYA: The Malaysian Food Bank Programme which helps the poor get food without any bureaucratic nonsense is among the pride of Pakatan Harapan in its efforts to lighten the burden of the cost of living for the public since it took over the government in May last year.
Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail said the programme was the ministry’s initiative under the concept of “Zero Waste Policy” as secretariat of the National Cost of Living Action Council.
“This programme has produced many volunteers without expecting any returns as well as taught supermarkets and food premises to stop wastage,“ he said in a press conference held in conjunction with one year PH formed the government here today.
The programme which aims at reducing the cost of living of the people, especially B40 households and tertiary students, had already benefited 85,489 recipients from August last year until March this year.
It targets leftover foods such as bread, vegetables, and fruits from major supermarkets to be distributed to 186,354 heads of household under the poverty line throughout the country while salvaging 1,156 metric tonnes of food.
On the call by various parties to rename the Food Bank as Tabung Makanan, he said this process may take some time as the Food Bank Foundation had already been registered with the Prime Minister’s Department.
“For now, we will stick with the Food Bank brand, what is important is we are feeding people,“ he said.
He added that he was proud to be able to present his own idea and a working paper on “Supply Chain Analysis” at the first meeting of the National Economic Action Council meeting which was chaired by Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
“We are convinced the supply food chain analysis is important in helping the ministry understand the layers involved before the final price reaches the consumers and what element are causing the price hike,“ he said.
He said the final report of the analysis was tabled to the Cabinet yesterday.
Saifuddin said he was also set on helping the public reduce their cost of living by developing e-commerce.
“E-commerce can reduce the layers in business ... when the chains are reduced, the final price is more acceptable to all parties,“ he said.
Saifuddin said focus would also be given to consumer education and helping the government ensure the efficient implementation of the subsidy scheme.
“There are leakages ... cross border and cross industry, with the result that the government budget does not reach the target groups in an efficient manner,“ he said. — Bernama