Food aid distributed to interior areas to ensure no one gets left behind

Food aid distributed to interior areas to ensure no one gets left behind

KAMPAR: Having to climb hills, go through challenging roads and enter remote areas to get to the houses of food basket recipients is not an excuse for the National Prihatin Squad in Perak to let the people run out of food supplies.

Bernama had the opportunity to take part in the distribution of Bakul Prihatin Negara aid in the district recently and found that the effort was highly anticipated by recipients of various races, particularly those who have lost their jobs due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

C. Shanmugam, 65, said he had lost his job as an operator of a cinema after the entertainment centre was not allowed to operate since the implementation of the Movement Control Order, and now has to rely on monthly assistance from the Social Welfare Department (JKM) to survive.

“I have worked in cinemas for 22 years and I never thought that I would lose my source of income due to a disease outbreak. I do not have the strength to earn money in any other way…so, I really need this food aid,” he said when met at his house in Taman Sentosa here.

The unmarried senior citizen is living with his two younger brothers who also have lost their jobs and all of them have run out of ideas on how to earn a living in this challenging time.

Meanwhile, Mohd Azril Hisham Johan, 57, who is blind in his left eye and is living alone in an old house by the hillside of Kampung Masjid Lama expressed his gratitude for the food basket contribution.

“Once in a while, my brother will come to visit and bring me something. I also receive monthly assistance from JKM and I’m really thankful for this food aid,” he said.

Ng Yoke Hoong, 54, who lives in Taman Bandar Baru said the food basket aid had eased his burden after being laid off from his job in Kuala Lumpur due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“After the dismissal, I return to my hometown and until now, I still could not find any job. I have to reduce my meal in order to save money and sometimes, I have to ask for help,” said Ng, who previously worked in the tourism industry.

Prihatin Negara Squad coordinator for Kampar district Pazli Abdullah Sani said a total of 48 food baskets managed by the state JKM have been handed out to recipients in the area since Monday, including in Orang Asli settlements.

According to Perak JKM statistics, more than 200 BPN aid which consists of rice, sugar, flour, vermicelli, canned sardines, soy sauce, biscuits and coffee, have been distributed throughout the state so far, and the effort would continue with assistance from the volunteer squad from time to time.

The Bakul Prihatin Negara aid, launched by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin on July 15, is a government initiative to help cushion the impact of Covid-19 faced by the people.

Those in need of assistance can make applications by contacting the state JKM operations room, Talian Kasih 15999 or via WhatsApp at 019-2615999, through JKM and Women, Family and Community Development Ministry’s social media accounts or reach out to their community leaders. -Bernama