When the country went into a total lockdown last year, many individuals like you and me, were just beginning to feel the negative effects of this pandemic. Two years down the road, the struggle continues. Today, as Malaysia picks herself up while navigating a new way of life, we see families from the B40 community, migrants, refugees, PWDs (persons with disabilities) and ordinary humans grappling to make ends meet, and put food on the table.
Acknowledging this urgent need, FreeMakan, another humanitarian initiative was promptly set up by BAC Education, under its fundraising platform GiveBack.my. Launched in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, FreeMakan.com is a BAC Food Bank initiative dedicated to eradicating food poverty in Malaysia by providing dry rations and cooked food to people struggling with hunger and food insecurity.
When FreeMakan was first initiated in early June, we reached out to you, to help us meet the immediate needs of the poor and homeless. Initially aimed at feeding only 2000 families, the FreeMakan team had to shift gears realising the overwhelming need to address hunger and poverty across disadvantaged communities in our society.
Three months down the road, we have now traversed three phases, not without its own set of challenges. From raising RM100,000 feeding 2,000 families, today FreeMakan is close to reaching its target RM1.5 million, feeding more than 22,000 families, 90,000 individuals, with more than 2 million meals. Each family received a grocery pack filled with 5kgs rice, 1kg cooking oil, 1 kg flour, 1 pack instant noodles, 400g beehoon, 1kg sugar, 1 pack salt, 1 sardine can, 1 pack cream crackers, 500g potatoes, 500g onions and 500g garlic. This pack will be able to feed a family for at least two weeks.
With a network of community-based organisations on board, FreeMakan has been able to meet the immediate needs of families through partnerships and collaborations with individuals, corporates, and NGOs. Among them include Creador Foundation, SPARK Foundation, Perlis Plantations Berhad, CSR Sugar, Nestle Malaysia, Affin Hwang Capital, Adenland Group, MyTukar, MMA Wilayah, Enya, Aroma Flour, F&N, Comvita and Brickfields Asia College.
Bringing this whole project together, was a team of volunteers. Facilitating the smooth delivery of food packs to needy families across the nation, 90 BAC staff and 30 apprentices were assigned to receive calls, key in data, and validate enquiries from 5,800 individuals throughout Malaysia requesting for food aid. Headed by BAC staff Moo Tik Pin, Mithila Narendran, Rajkumar Nadarajah and Arivinth Subramaniam, the FreeMakan team made sure all requests were attended to, with no one left behind.
Raja Singham, Managing Director of BAC Education Group and the brainchild of FreeMakan said “More than 20,000 families throughout the nation have already received food aid. This equates to more than 2 million meals for 90,000 individuals nationwide.”
Requests for aid have been pouring in from many different communities – the Orang Asli, refugees, migrant and undocumented workers, the stateless, and FreeMakan has been actively attending to their immediate needs.
When several villages and residential areas in Gurun and Yan in Kedah were hit by flash floods last month, FreeMakan arranged for the delivery of 200 foods packs to aid flood victims. Families in need living in the Klang Valley, Selangor, Kedah, Perak, Negeri Sembilan, Pahang, and Johor have also received help under the campaign. Recently, FreeMakan also partnered with community mobilisers in East Malaysia to reach out to 202 families in Pulau Gaya, Sabah.
According to Raja Singham, “We will keep doing this for at least another 3 months as Covid19 cases are still recording extremely high daily numbers, and requests for food aid are still coming in. We would like to thank all our sponsors and donors for their support, and at the same time appeal to more organisations out there to help out.”
The relief and joy felt by these families when receiving grocery supplies is palpable. All they want is to know that their kids will go to bed happy and well-fed. Let’s work together to ensure this reality for our communities, and let’s go to sleep knowing that we have done our part in giving them a good night’s sleep.
Donors are encouraged to contact FreeMakan to learn more or to contribute. All operations costs are absorbed by the BAC Education Group and donors’ funds go completely towards the purchase of groceries for the food baskets.
To donate food or goods click here.
To contribute funds, please follow these guidelines:
- Instant online transfer via the formhere, or
- Bank Transfer as per the following details:
Donate to: Make It Right Movement Sdn Bhd
Bank: RHB BANK
Account Number: 21219800040683
For bank transfers, please indicate “Stop Hunger” and send us proof of donation to firstname.lastname@example.org or via WhatsApp (Moo – 014-2315528)
The Need Is Great, But Together, We Are Greater
#StopHunger #FreeMakan #GiveBACk #TransformingLives