Sunway Group brings festive cheer to B40 families

The group is providing essential groceries and nutritious food worth more than RM170,000 to 863 families for 3 months

by HARIZAH KAMEL / Pic courtesy of Sunway

THIS Deepavali, Sunway Group is providing close to 30,000kg of essential groceries and nutritious food worth more than RM170,000 to a total of 863 families for three consecutive months, starting in October, through the #SunwayforGood Food Bank initiative.

The group said in a recent statement that it will be reaching out to beneficiaries across Johor, Kuala Lumpur (KL), Selangor, Perak, Penang and Kedah, focusing on underserved single-parent and single-income households, and aims to ensure safe and nutritious food is accessible to families deprived of much needed assistance due to the prolonged Movement Control Orders.

“We hope that our contribution will bring a ‘light of hope’ to families who are experiencing food shortages and the brunt of the learning losses caused by the pandemic.

“We are grateful to all our NGO partners and sponsors who are joining us in this effort and will continue dedicating our support by placing community first at the core of every initiative,” Sunway Group brand marketing and communications senior GM Nik Tasha Nik Kamaruddin said.

The initiative is part of the #SunwayforGood umbrella that pledges to promote sustainability and social responsibility efforts through three areas namely education, healthcare and community enrichment, aligned with Sunway’s commitment to the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals as well as environmental, social and governance targets.

Since its inception, #SunwayforGood has touched the lives of over half a million beneficiaries and aims to positively impact millions of Malaysians by 2030. The group is working with the National Association of Women Entrepreneurs of Malaysia (NAWEM), the Development of Human Resources for Rural Areas (DHRRA) as well as the Malaysian Red Crescent (MRC) to identify families requiring urgent assistance and to distribute more than 900 boxes of groceries across five states and KL.

In addition, all beneficiaries will receive groceries with a bookmark by the Asia Foundation’s Let’s Read programme which allows

unlimited and free access to an interactive online library. To further inculcate the habit of reading and learning, Red Readerhood, the corporate social responsibility arm of Big Bad Wolf Books, is donating 1,200 books to the children in these families.

Each grocery box in the Klang Valley and Perak will also include sachets of instant coffee sponsored by SUPER Coffee.

Seven premises — SJKT Saraswathi in Kedah, Taman Free School Flat and Klinik Gigi Sentosa Bukit Mertajam in Penang, SJKT Ladang

Sin Wah and SJKT St Theresa Convent in Perak, NAWEM headquarters and a NAWEM member’s home in Taman Desa KL — were offered for free to organise the collection of groceries before distribution.

NAWEM president Sarojini Ruth Rajahser pointed out that single mothers in the bottom 40% income groups (B40) struggled the most during this pandemic as they have to lower their working hours to care for their children at home.

“This drastically reduces their ability to earn a stable income to support their families. The donations will help greatly to ease their burden,” she said.

DHRRA treasurer Deveshi Vaani Vellian said the pandemic has disproportionately affected the lowest income families in Malaysia who are making do with less healthy dietary choices which may cause malnutrition in children.

“As they are likely to face challenges in home-based learning. The group’s initiative to provide food and learning materials is not only timely but necessary,” she added.

Meanwhile, MRC secretary general Hakim Hamzah said as the pandemic has brought about multiple challenges to everyone in Malaysia, with the most affected being B40 communities which experienced a great loss in their household income, MRC is glad that the collective efforts are ensuring that no one goes hungry for want of a simple meal.