By Wilfred Pilo
KOTA SAMARAHAN, May 3: A total of 6,800 Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas) students from B40 families stand to benefit from the `Food Bank Siswa’ programme.
This programme came under the Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer affairs for university students in the country. It started in February this year.
Under this programme, any extra food that is not sold but still within the expiry dates is to be distributed by grocers or supermarkets to these undergraduates.
Its deputy minister, Chong Chieng Jen, said this initiative was to ease the beneficiaries’ daily burden and to reduce the cost of their living expenditure.
“Even though this group of students received their PTPTN student loans, they don’t spend their money on food but instead they rather send this money back home to help their parents,” he told reporters after launching the programme at Unimas Food Bank Centre here today.
“In providing and helping their parents, these students even resort to having one meal a day,” he lamented.
Chong revealed that Unimas was the eighth university in the country where such a programme had been launched. He thanked the management of CS Supermarket for their contributions towards the programme and also to Unimas Food Bank.
Chong said his ministry was also discussing with other supermarkets here to contribute to this programme for Unimas and to help other institutions of higher learning.
“We hope that this programme here will continue into the future and our strategic partners, apart from the contributors to the programme, are Gerakan Penguna Siswa Unimas and the Unimas Students Council Representatives.
“The two student bodies will manage the food bank and also to distribute the food to those eligible Unimas students,” he revealed.
Present at the function were Bandar Kuching MP Dr Kelvin Yii, Pending assemblywoman Violet Yong, Unimas deputy vice-chancellor (Academic and International) Professor Dr Wan Hashim Wan Ibrahim , KPDNHEP deputy secretary-general (Consumerism and Management) Datuk Rustam Effendi Salim, state director Dato Stanley Tan and CS supermarket general manager Liew Leong Lee. — DayakDaily