UiTM Students Help Distribute Excess Bazaar Food Items to the Needy
By: Michelle Liew
During the Holy Month of Ramadan, many sellers at the bazaar face the issue of having too much leftover and unsold food items and this often causes wastage. Although various measures have been taken, the problem has not yet been comprehensively resolved.
Therefore, the Shah Alam City Council (MBSA) together with members of the Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) Volunteer Brigade and the non-governmental organization (NGO), Pemuda Gema has come up with an initiative so that the waste of 600 metric tons of food can be avoided.
One of the methods to avoid such wastage is by distributing the excess food to the needy.
According to the Director of Solid Waste Management and Public Cleaning MBSA, Ts. Mohd. Azmi Amir Khan, his party and volunteer members will go down to the Ramadan bazaar Section 7, Section 19 and Section 20 in Shah Alam to collect unsold food around 7 to 8 pm.
"The program that is held from Monday to Friday in the month of Ramadan aims to reduce the disposal of excess food to landfill sites.
"This food will be collected, weighed to record data. It will be repackaged before being sent to those in need," he stated.
He added that he also wants to ensure that the food is not wasted and reaches the needy, especially the B40 group.
Mohd. Azmi explained that food waste involving hundreds of tons can be avoided if the distribution effort gets the cooperation of many volunteers.
Although the program only 'saved' a few hundred kilograms of food, at least there is an effort to reduce wastage in the Ramadan bazaar.
Director of the UiTM Co-Curriculum Center, Prof. Associate Dr. Mohd. Azman Yahya made a gentle reminder that food waste is not something to be proud of.
"Regarding that, I, along with eight UiTM students from the Volunteer Brigade attended this program to collect food that is still good to distribute to the needy. This waste must be stopped at a time when the world is facing a food crisis," he explained.
Meanwhile, a member of the UiTM Volunteer Brigade, Nor Farisha Alia Mat Faris Rizal, 21, said that the MBSA MySave Food @Bazar Ramadan program taught her not to waste food regardless of time.
"This program taught me not to waste food that is not sold. It can be given to those who truly need it. If metric tons of this food continues to be thrown away, the environment will be polluted because the landfills will no longer be able to accommodate it," she stated.
Her friend, who is also a Bachelor (Honours) student in Statistical Science at UiTM, Alia Atika Ahmad, 21, said that her side and MBSA created the program to make it easier for traders to systematically distribute excess food. She explained that repackaged food can be distributed to mosques or other potential places.
"Although many people go to the Ramadan bazaar to buy food, there are also those who are thrifty and break their fast according to the rate. So, this distributed food can definitely cheer up those who are less able to afford it," she said.