More than 388,000 food baskets distributed nationwide

THE Social Welfare Department has distributed 388,897 food baskets nationwide since March 18, benefitting 1.56 million people nationwide, said Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Rina Mohd Harun (picture).

Of the total, she said 335,600 were distributed throughout the Movement Control Order (MCO), 42,059 during Conditional MCO (CMCO), while another 11,238 food baskets were distributed to residents in areas placed under the Enhanced MCO.

“The distribution of food baskets will continue,” she said following the announcement by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin on Sunday that the CMCO was extended until June 9.

Speaking at a press conference yesterday regarding the delivery of food baskets, Rina said the average demand in each district was between 50 and 100 food baskets depending on the size of the area or the number of poor people there.

“We have received requests from various parties among them community leaders, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and caring schools that have data about their students coming from poor and needy families,” she said.

Rina said households that had received food baskets could also seek additional assistance according to eligibility, given the relatively long implementation period of the MCO and the CMCO.

On the issue of delays in the distribution of food baskets, Rina said initially this was due to procedures to check the eligibility of recipients, but to date, the process has been streamlined and improved.

“We also want to avoid overlapping with other agencies such as the state zakat centres that also help. Once we have made sure they are eligible and really need help, then we distribute,” she said, adding that references were also made with NGOs and local leaders.

Rina said any request about people needing food baskets could be made at the 108 district Social Welfare offices nationwide or via the Talian Kasih 15999. — Bernama