Sibu Benevolent Society resumes Sunday collection of groceries

A fruit stall owner donating papayas to the home.
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SIBU, Nov 7: Sibu Benevolent Society has resumed its Sunday collection of groceries at the central market today after eight months due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Eight volunteers which included vice chairman Robert Chew went round the central market to collect items such as vegetables, fruits, fish, chicken and dried food from hawkers who were willing to donate.

The items are meant for the consumption of the home’s 28 residents.

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“We stopped the collection in March this year and resumed today as the stall vendors missed the ringing sound of our bell every Sunday morning,” he said.

He said during these eight months, the home was well-supported by donors who personally sent the food items to them.

“From March until now, we have had regular donors sending food items to us and they were sufficient for the residents of the home,” he added.

On booster shots for the residents, he said they had not met the requirements for it.

“They received their second dose of Pfizer at the end of June. For the booster dose, they will have to wait six months for it. However three of our staff and two nurses who have met the criteria have had their booster shots already,” said Chew.

The home, he said, is still closed to visitors — even to those who have received two doses of the Covid-19 vaccine. Family members who want to visit their loved ones could do so but only at the gate.

Chew said they will soon have to accept new residents as they have received applications.

“We will interview them first to see if they are able to take care of themselves. They will also have to go through medical check-ups as we will not accept those with serious illnesses such as stroke patients as we are not a nursing home, but a home for the elderly,” he emphasised.

Chew said they don’t charge any fees but family members of the residents are encouraged to donate any amount they could. This is to lessen the burden of the home as they have to pay salary to 10 staff members.

“For two years, we did not receive any funding from the government. Previously the federal government gave us between RM30,000 and RM50,000 a year depending on the number of residents.” — DayakDaily

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