Finding Food A Home. This was the objective of a dream that turned into a movement improving the lives of many in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. A dream that started with a few trolley loads of food destined for the rubbish.
In September, 2015, the then UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon highlighted that “More than a third of all the food produced worldwide – over one billion tonnes of edible food each year – goes to waste. That is shameful when so many people suffer from hunger”. This is particularly true in Malaysia, where roughly around 3,000 tonnes of edible food is wasted every day. This is enough food to feed half a million people, in a country where many go hungry.
If that wasn’t bad enough, food waste also happens to be the largest contributor to solid waste in Malaysia and the greatest source of harmful greenhouse gases in the country.
My friend, Suzanne, a determined British expat living in the same condominium as me in Kuala Lumpur, is the person behind the dream, the movement, and today, the reason why many vulnerable people are able to receive food regularly. By bringing together a team of passionate volunteers, Suzanne’s Lost Food Project is collecting enough food for thousands of meals every week.
Her amazing drive to make a difference meant that the children and youth I was working with at a local NGO were able to eat healthily, thanks to The Lost Food Project’s weekly deliveries. In turn, we were able to allocate our scarce financial resources to other priorities such as health and education. Every week, carloads of food would be brought by volunteers, and every week our school children could have fresh fruit and vegetables otherwise not available to them. The food was also allowing these children to be able to focus and perform better at school than they could on empty stomachs.
In less than a year of operations, The Lost Food Project keeps growing and Suzanne keeps coming up with innovative ways to raise awareness and advocate for policy change (watch this space!). Today the Lost Food Project comprises a huge team made up of conscientious supermarket owners, policy makers willing to think of alternative ways to deal with society’s problems, and an incredible pool of talented and skilled volunteers from all corners of the world who help make Suzanne’s dream happen in Kuala Lumpur. Everybody working together, every week making a difference. As always, I am humbled by the impact of our efforts when we come together, our determination to share and improve the conditions of those less fortunate than us, and the different ways that we can help preserve our beautiful planet.
If this is something that resonates with you and you would like to learn more about the work that The Lost Food Project is doing in Malaysia, head to their website www.thelostfoodproject.org or find them on Facebook (@thelostfoodproject). They have opportunities for people to volunteer and ways that you can help them continue growing! Donations can be made via Simply Giving – www.simplygiving.com/Social/thelostfoodproject