29 May 2013 by James Hoh CM-
My interview with Mr. David Jansen Part 2: Waste not want not, a good old maxim is what Grace Community Services Centre believes in. Putting it in action, it channels ‘unwanted’ food to feed the poor and hungry.
Food that would otherwise be wasted or discarded is channeled to the underprivileged via Food Bank operated by Grace Community Services to feed the hungry and the hard-core poor.
Food Bank networks with various food sources in the marketplace, such as food manufacturers, food importers, wholesalers, agents, supermarkets, hotel, organizations and individuals to donate their surplus, near-expiry products or products with damaged packaging.
The Food Bank is one of the projects envisioned and initiated by Rev Henry K Pillai who is the Chairman of the centre to serve the hard-core poor of the community.
“The Food Bank is in Klang. All the food items donated by companies are brought in here. Here we pack them and get them ready. Every 3rd week of the month the hard-core poor would come to collect them,” Mr Jansen said.
He added that currently the centre is providing food for 400 families. We also send some to our Kuala Lumpur centre which is in Masjid India area and some goes as far as Seremban.
The Centre would give the recipients one week to collect the dry-foodstuff. If they miss the deadline, their portion would be given to others who are equally deserving.
“The recipients of the foodstuff earn below RM1000 per household. Through interviews and visitations, we would be able to verify their eligibility. We don’t want food to get into the wrong hands because there are people who resell the food items. We want to put these food items into the hands of those who really can’t afford them,” Mr Jansen said.
The manufacturers and suppliers are also very concerned that the foodstuff given to the poor are not sold as this would jeopardize their image and reputation as some of the items have expiry dates of less than six months.
“We invite suppliers to come to have a look at our centre to see that we are genuinely helping the hard-core poor,” he added.
He invites those who have a passion to feed the poor and hungry to visit the Food Bank to see at first-hand how it operates. He encouraged members of the public to contribute so that more poor people could benefit from the programme.
“Rev Henry would want to have a warehouse where they (hard-core poor) could come to pick and choose what need but that is something that we would hope for in the near future.” Mr Jansen said.
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