According to SWCorp Malaysia, about 17,000 tonnes of food waste is generated on a daily basis which causes each household to waste an average of RM225 each month. Unlike their fellow counterparts in the West, Malaysians still lack action and awareness on the need to reduce food waste.
In an effort to reduce food wastage while also feeding low-income families, INTI International College Subang’s Centre of American Degree Programme joined forces with What a Waste (WaW), and environmental non-profit organization, to build greater awareness of food wastage in the country. Through the initiative “Thankful Hearts, Helpful Hands 2022” from 14 to 24 November, students and staff contributed 16 bags of rice, bottles of cooking oil, and other grocery items to low-income families (B40) at PPR Kerinchi Lembah Pantai. Other activities conducted to support the noble effort include a Campus Photo Contest, Gratitude Tree, Wow Sale, and Food Drive.
Shanta V Nagendran, a senior lecturer from INTI International College Subang’s Centre of American Degree Programme, said this initiative encouraged the INTI community to spare some time helping those in need despite their hectic schedule.
“Students are often buried in books. An opportunity to give back to the less fortunate families allows them to reset their minds while improving their health and sense of well-being,” she said with a smile.
She also stated that Malaysians needed to be reminded regularly on the country’s long-standing food waste issues.
“People will only become more thoughtful about the food they have each day if we keep raising our concern about food wastage. There are communities that long for food and there are those who eat leftover food because to them, food is hard to obtain and should not be wasted,” she said.
Though the same initiative was carried out last year, she said this year’s results were just as impressive as last year’s.
Meanwhile, Dr. Kee Hooi Ling, a senior lecturer at INTI International College Subang who was also part of the organizing committee, said the donations was a way for the INTI family to give back to the community.
“No one should go hungry. It is typical to see restaurants provide an excessive amount of food that exceeds customer demand while those who are less fortunate appreciate every bit of food that we throw or waste,” she said.
A study suggested that burying food waste will also contribute to global warming due to the amount of food waste dumped in landfills.
“We hope that our small contribution can help to raise awareness about food wastage and encourage people to do more to save the environment,” she concluded.
A total of 16 bags of rice, cooking oil, and grocery items ready to be given directly to low-income families (B40) at PPR Kerinchi, Lembah Pantai.
(From left) Shanta V Nagendran, a senior lecturer at INTI International College Subang, posing in a photo with Alvin Chen, Co-Founder of What A Waste (WaW), a non-profit organization that rescues food surplus and helps deliver it directly to those in need.