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#GongXiMakan For All: Grab Drivers and Delivery Riders Celebrate Chinese New Year with the Underprivileged
Published on: Saturday, February 24, 2024
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#GongXiMakan For All: Grab Drivers and Delivery Riders Celebrate Chinese New Year with the Underprivileged
A group photo featuring us, Grab drivers and delivery riders, representatives from The Lost Food Project and fellow Grabbers to mark the conclusion of the #GongXiMakan initiative.
As Grab drivers, we often find ourselves driving through parts of KL that we normally wouldn’t go to on our own.

Along the way, we witness poignant scenes, especially at night, individuals sleeping on the streets or children going through bins looking for plastic bottles and cans they can sell to the “sau kau poh chi man” for money to pay for essentials they need at home.

Sometimes, we have passengers who would rather walk home with their bags just to save a few ringgit. It’s especially heartbreaking when we see elderly individuals, who lack the energy to make such a journey. As drivers, we share stories of our encounters with each other and it’s sad.  

So recently, over 120 Grab drivers and delivery riders had the opportunity to do something different for Chinese New Year.

We joined forces with several non-governmental organisations (NGOs), and GrabFood restaurants to take part in the #GongXiMakan For All initiative, organised by Grab.  

This initiative aimed to reach out to the underserved communities around us and spread kindness  during this Chinese New Year season. Collaborating with organizations such as The Lost Food Project, Kechara Soup Kitchen, Happy Charity Association, Persatuan Bulan Sabit Merah Malaysia, Society of Kuching Urban Poor, Hope Place, Rumah Kebajikan Anak Yatim & Fakir Miskin Perempuan, Pertubuhan Kebajikan Anak Yatim Lelaki & Miskin Baitul Mukmin, we offered meals and food essentials to those who are often forgotten by the society.

In Klang Valley, where I was a part of, we partnered with The Lost Food Project (TLFP), a food rescue NGO dedicated to "Feed the Hungry, Not the Landfill". “I am truly inspired by the work of this NGO.” 

They help solve hunger issues and climate change by tackling the food waste problem. They collect excess food and other non-food products, and prevent them from going to landfills, by redistributing them to over 80 charities and thousands of B40 families in less privileged areas, regardless of their background.

From what I know, the TLFP team has saved 6.7 million kg of food from being wasted, equivalent to 19.1 million nutritious meals, and prevented 16.7 million kg of Greenhouse gases.

As a team across Malaysia, we used soup kitchen locations to provide warm meals sponsored by King Kunyit, Nasi Anje 1, Guilt Free Society, Restoran Taufik, Big Coconut, SRC, Ceylonese Restaurant, Along Curry Station, MyRecipe and Unknown Cafe & Bistro to more than 700 homeless people in marginalised areas across Klang Valley, Penang, Ipoh, Johor Bahru, Melaka, Kuantan, Kuching, and Kota Kinabalu. We also distributed food essential packs containing rice, sugar and eggs to 300 lower-income households in those areas.

A news article I read in NST reported that the incidence of absolute poverty in urban areas rose from 3.8% in 2019 to 4.5% last year. As a community, it is imperative that we join hands to support initiatives aimed at supporting those who are in need.

Reflecting on our experience that day, my fellow Grab drivers and delivery riders were deeply moved by the #GongXiMakan For All initiative. It was truly heartwarming and humbling to have had the opportunity to be involved.

My fellow Grab driver from Kuching, Sharipah Mazenah, said, “As a Grab driver, I get to help my community everyday - whether it’s delivering food or grocery orders, or taking my passengers to where they need to be. I wanted to be a part of the #GongXiMakan For All because it gave me another chance to help my community. Being involved in this initiative gave us, a community of drivers and delivery riders, the chance to bring comfort and hope to the homeless. It is important for them to know that there are people out there who still remember and care for them especially during festive seasons when they might feel alone. I am humbled to be able to do this together with my fellow Grab drivers and delivery riders.”

 

Several Grab drivers and I (centre) made our way to the home of a resident in PPR Hang Tuah.

Mohamad Heruan Shah, another Grab driver from Penang, said, "As a driver, you get to meet people from very different walks of lives. However, being part of this initiative was truly an eye-opening and emotional experience for me. Seeing the gratitude and appreciation in the eyes of the families and children we were able to help reminded me of the true meaning of family, empathy and kindness. This initiative showed me the power of coming together as a community to support those in need.”

 

A member of The Lost Food Project assisted a visually-impaired resident by carrying the essential items that he had received from the #GongXiMakan initiative.

I want to shout out to the many NGOs out there for the work they do amongst our community in need. If anyone would like to support their efforts or do their part, you can reach out to them directly.

About Kechara Soup Kitchen Society (KSK Society)

With over 16 years of unwavering service, Kechara Soup Kitchen Society (KSK Society) has been a pillar of support for marginalised communities in Malaysia. Serving meals to over 17,000 homeless, and food assistance to over 165,064 people, KSK Society operates Soup Kitchen, Food Bank, and Empowerment programmes. Their commitment to helping vulnerable demographics showcases a dedication to empowering those in need and fostering a more inclusive society.

About Happy Charity Association

Established in 2019, the Happy Charity Association, also known as the Happy Group, champions the concept of "Self-Sustainable Welfare." The association believes in formulating and educating the underprivileged with sustainable systems. Starting with a food bank, the Happy Group encourages food donations to support welfare homes, including old folks’ homes, care centres, orphanages, and impoverished families.

About the Society for Kuching Urban Poor

SKUP stands for The Society for Kuching Urban Poor. Our mission is to help the poor and needy in Kuching city irrespective of race, creed, and religion. Our motto is 'The More You Give, The More You Receive.' To assist the poor and needy, we plan to cover a wide range of activities that we believe are necessary for breaking the vicious cycle of poverty. We initiated the Mobile Soup Kitchen on September 20, 2010, with the aim of providing one meal a day to the poor, supplementing their daily food needs. The six areas covered are Poh Kwong Park, Kampong Kudei, Desa Wira, Song Kheng Hai, Petanak, and Sungai Apong. To date, we have reduced our coverage to four areas in Kuching city as they have improved their standard of living. Other activities include welfare assistance, education, house repairs, and skills training such as bakery and sewing.

Under the 1AZAM programme from 2013 to 2016, we established a Training Centre and trained 448 graduates - B40 men and women in Sewing and Bakery. On January 3, 2023, we operated the Soup Kitchen at Wisma Ho Ho Lim, serving the poor and homeless. We provide breakfast and lunch from Mondays to Saturdays. The estimated figures for breakfast are around 45-50 persons daily, while for lunch, we serve approximately 100 persons daily.

We also sponsored four poor students to attend universities, and they have successfully graduated and pursued careers. Additionally, we collaborate with schools to provide tuition to poor children who struggle in mathematics, English, or Bahasa Malaysia.

About Hope Place

Hope Place is a non-governmental organization (NGO) which aims to help and contribute towards the local community to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to receive the equal quality of life. We love to see that the underprivileged people of Kuching be given a chance to come out from poverty. At Hope Place, we want to challenge ourselves to be the beacon for the defenseless, and to create awareness that it is a shared responsibility of the community of Kuching to show concern and to take care of one another.

About Persatuan Bulan Sabit Merah Malaysia

The Malaysian Red Crescent is a humanitarian organisation and auxiliary to the humanitarian services of the Government under Malaysian Parliamentary Act No. 540, providing vital assistance during times of natural disasters, crisis and promoting community, health and welfare services within local communities. It is a part of the global network of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent movement whose mission is to alleviate human sufferings and to promote lasting peace amongst people.

About Permata Al Insyirah and Baitul Mukmin

Nestled in the heart of Kuantan, Permata Al Insyirah and Baitul Mukmin are symbols of hope for the underprivileged children. These orphanages offer a supportive environment, providing not only refuge but also a home, education, and emotional support to orphaned girls and boys. They emphasise holistic development through values, education, and life skills.

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