PUTRAJAYA: The one-stop collection and distribution centre for the Food Bank Malaysia (FBM) programme will be set up in Bukit Angkat, Kajang, and is expected to begin operations next month, according to Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail.

He said FMB’s implementation was similar to food bank programmes overseas, such as the Second Harvest Japan, Gift of the Givers in South Africa, and Foodbank of Indonesia, but among its ‘shortcomings’ so far was the lack of a one-stop collection centre.

The one-stop centre, he said, ensured that food contributions were gathered in one place before being distributed, including during natural disasters.

“With the distribution centre (DC), the collection and distribution process is more organised. It facilitates distribution without any red tape and continuous supply will shorten the delivery time,“ he told reporters here today.

Earlier, he witnessed the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between Yayasan Food Bank Malaysia (YFBM) and Nestle Malaysia Bhd. YFBM was represented by its CEO, Ab Wahab Long, and Nestle Malaysia by its CEO, Juan Aranols.

On the Food Donors Protection Bill 2019, Saifuddin said the report would only be released in “one or two months” and it is expected to boost the number of donations and receive a better response, including from hoteliers.

The Dewan Rakyat approved the Food Donors Protection Bill 2019, on Oct 9, last year.

The proposed clause under the bill protects a food donor from being sued for any personal injury or illness suffered by any person, or death of any person resulting from the consumption of food donated or distributed by the donor.

On the MoU between the YFBM and Nestle Malaysia, Saifuddin said the two-year partnership would see Nestle Malaysia provide food products such as Milo, Nescafe, Nestle breakfast cereals to over 50,000 low-income families (B40) and hardcore poor nationwide ensuring people have access to adequate food and a nutritious diet.

According to Saifuddin, Nestle had also cooperated in the Student Food Bank Programme at Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) Shah Alam, and extended it to Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) this year.

From the time of its implementation in August 2018 till November 2019, the PFBM has successfully saved 1,984 metric tonnes of food from being wasted and delivered it to 476,250 household members, while for 21 universities have been involved in the Student Food Bank Programme, benefiting 12,251 students.

Saifuddin said this year, the Student Food Bank Programme would be extended to 123 institutions of higher learning, including Teacher Education Institutes (IPG), polytechnics and private higher education institutions. – Bernama