Empathy and kindness is felt throughout Malaysia especially during the Ramadhan season. This is definitely the case when youth-based NGO GEMA Wilayah Persekutuan together with strategic partners, the Solid Waste Management and Public Cleansing Corporation (SWCorp), Majlis Perbandaran Ampang Jaya (MPAJ) as well as the Malaysian Agricultural Research and Development Institute (MARDI), through its “My Save Food” initiative, join hands to help prevent food waste by collecting unsold yet perfectly edible food from Ramadhan Bazaars and distributing it to those who need it the most.
Data shows, on average, 300 stalls at these bazaars can contribute to almost 200 kg in food and drinks daily and from that an average of 80 to 100 kg becomes food waste. Currently, in its third year, the programme will go on for fourteen days starting 14 May until 26 May, 2019 at Ramadhan Bazaars in 15 areas across Malaysia, including selected locations in Johor Bharu, Perak, Kedah, Negeri Sembilan, Melaka, Pahang, Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya and Selangor.
“Food is our greatest asset. Together we can create opportunities that optimise the ways of saving food from wastage across the value chain. The result is the creation of economic value and a reduced environmental impact from wasted food,” said Dr. Ainu Husna, head of MYSaveFood. “By implementing such initiatives for communities, we stand to be a nation responsible not only for ourselves but also the environment we live in. Do more, waste less,” she added.
Through this campaign, business entities and customers will be educated on how food waste can be reduced when making purchases as well as methods of preparing food hygienically. Businesses with unsold food and good for consumption will be collected by the folks at MYSaveFood@Ramadhan who will then donate them to families in need.
In an effort to ensure the campaign is implemented effectively, GEMA Wilayah Persekutuan is urging youths to volunteer at the respective Ramadhan Baazars across the 15 selected locations.
To volunteer, click here.
Aside from volunteers across the country, various other agencies and NGOs are also participating in this worthy cause such as Kechara Soup Kitchen, Putrajaya Holdings, Majlis Sukan Negara (MSN) and Lauk.com.
Give a hoot, don’t waste your food!
Food waste in Malaysia – over 16 tonnes daily. Enough to feed 2.2 million people three times a day.
By the year 2020, there will be enough food waste to fill up 16 Petronas Twin Towers.
More so, this amount increases about 15 to 20 per cent during festive seasons.
Yet, we are still oblivious to this pervasive problem and the harmful effects it has on our environment. Once food ends up at the dump, it also releases methane, which is even worse for climate change than carbon dioxide.
The timeless reminder by our older generation – “think of all the hungry people out there” when we can’t finish our food certainly rings true (although now we realise they probably should have served us less food to begin with! #boom).
Be the change you want to see in the world
In order to rid the world of food waste, we must lead the change! The first step is changing our daily habits.
Here are some useful tips worth sharing to reduce food waste.
- Become a better food shopper and halve your bin today! Our bins are mostly made up of 40% food waste.
- Make a shopping list and check your fridge and fruit basket or take a ‘shelfie’ of your fridge and cupboards to remind you of the items you have. Sticking to a shopping list helps us to only purchase food we really need.
- Plan ahead. Think about your meal plan and how you could use leftovers.
- Batch cooking. A great way to spend the weekend is by batch cooking and freezing meals for the rest of the week. There are many healthy batch cooking recipes available online which you could try with your family.
If you wish to learn more about how you can get your community involved in #MYSaveFood, contact 03-8953 7202 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.