By Nancy Nais
KUCHING, June 9: While some of us can stay and work from home, there are also many out there who are struggling to make ends meet due to the second implementation of the Movement Control Order (MCO) following the Covid-19 pandemic in Sarawak.
Some end up losing their jobs, and face difficulties with paying their bills and putting food on the table for their families.
H&L Retail Sdn Bhd (H&L) is stepping up to provide free meals under their Food Aid Programme to those in need.
Marketing officer Lianny Bujang said these hot meals for lunch and dinner are cooked and prepared by their H&L crew twice daily.
“Some have lost their jobs and savings, to the extent where even their next meal could be a problem.
“So H&L decided to carry out this programme until June 14. Meals will be served at 11.30am and 5pm during the said period in limited quantities and based on a first come first serve basis. Our participating outlets are at Eco Mall in Petra Jaya, Matang Mall in Matang Jaya, Aiman Mall in Kota Samarahan, Eastern Mall in Siburan and Kuching Sentral,” Lianny said.
In the event that the State Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) decides to extend the MCO, Lianny added that H&L management will make further announcements later.
When DayakDaily visited the H&L outlet in Matang Mall, its kitchen crew were busy preparing lunch meals consisting of freshly cooked rice, stir-fry vegetable, ginger chicken and beef rendang.
Helping her team preparing the ingredients, store manager Jaiton Anuar joyfully said it was an honour to serve and cook these hot meals for the community during this difficult time.
“We understand that there are people out there who are struggling to make ends meet especially during this MCO and we hope that this can ease their burden,” Jaiton said, adding that she was glad that her employer came up with this food aid programme.
Each hot meal comes with rice and two dishes, along with a note of encouragement.
Iskandar Noor, a Grab delivery rider, was dropping off his customer’s order when he came across the meal counter.
Surprised by the free meal programme, he explained that he was now doing his best to earn enough to support his parents, as they needed medication.
“In the middle of last year, I lost my job as an office boy because the company ended up making losses due to the pandemic. So I became a Grab food delivery rider to earn a living. Due to the nature of my work, I am unable to go home for lunch or dinner.
“As such, I am grateful for this because I have food to eat without adding to my burden. I can save between RM4 to RM6 per meal. It may be a small amount, but if I accumulate a month’s meal costs, it can reach a few hundred ringgit,” Iskandar said, adding that he sometimes would forgo his own breakfast or lunch just so he can carry out more deliveries.
Meanwhile, two other companies Gangnam Banchan and Sishugong Fried & Cook stall has also joined in H&L food aid programme.
Gangnam Banchan which is Halal certified has started sending their kimbap to H&L Kuching Sentral from today until the end of the program.
As for Sishugong Fried & Cook, their team will be sending fried mee and kueh teow (non-halal) to H&L Aiman Mall in Kota Samarahan starting June 10 until the end of the programme.
Other food and beverages outlets who would like to join the cause and contribute to help can contact H&L at 014-6992923. — DayakDaily