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Why do we need food rescue in Malaysia?

Updated: Jan 12, 2023

Have you ever hosted a party, wedding, or event where you order food for the number of people you invited over but end up some of them couldn't make it due to personal matters?

Now, what happened to the extra food that you ordered? What happens if you decided to open for 2nd round and allow people to take home that food but end up still leaving 10 more boxes on the table or perhaps a few trays of food that is able to feed up to 20 people? Most people will leave it to the host or the caterer to deal with the food. So if the host and the caterer were to deal with the food, most of the time, they have no time to deal with it. So what happens to that food? They are often discarded away! This is sad and heartbreaking. Good food just goes to waste??!

  • What about those people who are in hunger?

  • What about those people who only have money to eat 1 meal per day?

  • What about those who live in poverty?

  • Why didn't we think of channeling the edible surplus food to them?

If only if , the wedding industry and event caterers were to open their eyes and have a kind heart to donate the edible food surplus to those in need, we would have helped many people in the B40 communities. We could have helped them to cut down their spending on food expenses by giving them something edible to eat from the food that was saved. Sadly, this wasn't done by many businesses in Malaysia.

Now, the question is, is there hope? Are we able to change the mindset of those business owners to be more open to giving their edible surplus food to those in need?

Yes! There is HOPE! The wedding and food catering industry must take the initiative to form strategic partnerships with any Food Rescue organization out there. There is no excuse for us to be lazy or can't find one in their area. All we have to do is Google them up and we are sure that you are able to find 1 that is located in your area. It is time for us to see Malaysia become greener. It is time for us to help those people in the B40 communities. It is time to make Food Rescue as the new normal instead of throwing away good food. We must change ourselves to become better so that Malaysia can progress. Changes can only happen from within and not from an outside force.

So, who are the few organizations that you can call for food rescue?

Kechara Soup Kitchen does have a heavy presence in KL, Penang, Johor, Pahang, and Melaka.

They are an organization that helps to channel food that has been donated to them to the street people and also to some B40 families too. Your food donation allows these people not to live in hunger. So, let's give a helping hand to Kechara by donating your edible surplus food. We need to feed the people and not the landfill.

Thank you Kechara Soup Kitchen for helping the underprivileged individuals and families by ensuring they always have food with them so they don't live in hunger.

In Kelantan, we are amazed by a group of youth who went the extra mile to connect with each vendor in the Bazaar Ramadan to collect their edible surplus food and drinks. After they have collected from each store, they will do a stock check on the food and drinks they rescued so that they are able to determine who to give? Kelantanese should be proud to have them for helping to reduce food waste in their state and feed people. Together, we can solve the hunger issue, and tackle poverty by channeling edible surplus food to those in need.

Thank you for your active volunteerism.

3) SESO Malaysia.

SESO Malaysia is based in KL and they too also help feed the B40 communities. We believe that we need more of such food rescue groups in Malaysia because the amount of food waste we waste in Malaysia is so much that the number of existing food rescue groups is still not enough. SESO Malaysia has also worked with various brands to help feed the people, reduce the burden of those people living in poverty and give hope that they wouldn't have to go to bed hungry. We in Green Hero believe that in the 21st century, no one should go to bed in hunger. We have so much food but so sad to read that 1/3 of the global food produced often ends up in landfills. How much it is? It is 1.3 billion tonnes of food that is either wasted or lost across the supply chain. This is enough to feed up to feed 870 million hungry people in the world. Gila wei! So , if you have time to volunteer or you have food from your events that are still edible, call up SESO to be your Food Rescue Hero. You too can volunteer your time at SESO.

4) Mutiara Food Bank

In Penang, Mutiara Food Bank works closely with a number of supermarkets & hypermarkets to collect their 2nd-grade vegetables and channel them to the B40 communities. These 2nd-grade vegetables are still edible to eat but they are just ugly for people to look at them in supermarkets

Why is that so? That's because, in the supermarket, we often buy things based on their look. This is human nature and we can't avoid it. Nobody wants to pay for something at a high price and expect to get something that is of lower grade quality.

Hence, in order to keep a reputation for their brand, supermarkets often do a close check on their fruits and vegetables. Those that can't be sold at high profits are often put away hoping someone to rescue them. If there isn't any organization that comes over and rescues it, that food will be collected by the garbage truck and will be thrown into the landfill.

Thank You Mutiara Food Bank for always rescuing these 2nd-grade vegetables and giving them to those in need and helping to reduce their financial burden.

They are a non-profit organization that works closely to help the refugee community and is based in Shah Alam. They are also creative in dealing with surplus fruits and vegetables. They too have a volunteering program that you can take part to contribute your time and effort to help cook, food distribution, provide logistic support, and many others that you can find on their page. You may also call them to get more info on volunteering. They sure do have a good and fun environment for people out there who wants to make a difference for the refugee community and be part of the food rescue movement.

Also, if you like cooking and baking, you can help turn the fruits they rescue into apple pie, banana cake, banana smoothies, and other recipes you're familiar with :D The vegetables they rescued too are also made into hot food for the refugee community to eat. Wonderful right?

If you ever need food rescue service in Penang, KL, Melaka and Johor, call us up. We do have contacts and we will arrange for logistic support to rescue the food and give it to those in need.

In Green Hero, we believe that we should always take preventative steps to reduce food waste or prevent food waste from happening in the first place. We also encourage any F&B players out there to form a strategic partnership with your local soup kitchen and food rescue organization so that you don’t have to panic or think so much later to deal with your close-to-expiry goods or edible surplus food.

Here is a picture of a container with food in boxes that were stuck in customs that cannot be shipped out. We rescued it and today, with the help of many Penang langs, a container filled with thousands of boxes was prevented from going to the landfill. Now, that is awesome!!!

In another case as well, the warehouse had too much sauce and couldn't clear them off in time before its best before date. Hence, they called us up and told us to quickly distribute to those in need. We did it in a month with our partnership with a few NGOs! HAHAHA. Now that’s cool! That's why it is always important for F&B players out there to start planning ahead and also have a contingency plan from the start if something unexpected happens. We must not let good food that is still edible end up in landfills but it should end up in people's stomachs.

Oh, here is another one. We just saved this food from an event so that we can pass it to an orphanage. Now, the orphanage will not have to worry about their tomorrow breakfast and tea. Cool right?

So let’s make calling Food Rescue a new normal and cool too! It is time to instill into people's mindset that if there is any food that is still edible and safe to be consumed by others, we need to rescue it and give it out to the needy. There is no excuse for us to waste food when we know there are people in our country and state who are living in hunger.

Together with you, let’s feed the people.

Pls, do help us with this survey! Your opinion matters in helping us to set up a pitch to convince weddings and the food catering industry to partner with a local Food Rescue service so that more food could be saved and lesser food waste will be generated in Malaysia.

We thank you for your time in advance.

let's not waste edible food! It is a sin to do so.

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