The Food Surplus Processing for Covid-19 Front-liners & Communities-in-need (Community Giving Back Programme) started on July 21, 2021 and continued throughout the month of August 2021. The collaboration was between WormingUp, RCE Kuching, UCSI Hotel Kuching, UCSI University and Green Buddy Sarawak. This partnership was set up to fight food poverty by providing food aid relief to help Sarawak communities that are in need and lighten their burdens during this challenging period affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. An equally important purpose of this initiative was to lead food waste reduction efforts at the varsity level as a community.
During the pandemic, rural farmers were unable to bring their fresh produce to market, resulting in some food surplus. However, this food surplus processing has utilized edible leftovers and rejected food; mainly bananas and pineapples. About 195.1 kgs of bananas and 170.8 kgs of pineapples were still edible, but they were either overripe or had the wrong shapes or sizes to be used in food preparation. With the food surplus and numerous generous donations such as margarine/butter, oil, flour, eggs, sugar, chocolate and recyclable and biodegradable plastic containers and sponsors from the community, RCE Kuching, our suppliers, staff and students were able to prepare some tasty food.
The food preparation was led by UCSI Hotel, UCSI University Sarawak campus’ dedicated teams of staff and students who were passionate about preparing the food into cakes, breads, and jams.All prepared foods were delicious and well-packaged using biodegradable packaging.
Subsequently, the Wormingup teams distributed and donated the food packs to front-liners and communities-in-need. The dishes prepared were distributed to the needy in Kampung Haji Baki, Padawan Kampung in Bawang Semadang, Payang, Gayu, Serumah, Pejabat Fama Negeri Sarawak Food bank (FAMA) food bank, Kompleks Kebajikan Laila Taib (PERYATIM) (in collaboration with FAMA, Persatuan Nelayan Negeri Sarawak, PENESA (NELAYAN), Padungan Area communities (urban poor) and Rumah anak-Kanak Toh Puan Hajah Norkiah.
This programme has also served to show gratitude to frontliners and communities who have been working courageously and relentlessly to aid the nation’s fight against Covid-19. The food packs were delivered to front-liner in PKPD officer stationed at Kampung Git, Kampung Punau, Kampung Bunuk, Kampung Payang and Padungan Branch police station.
Furthermore, all leftover banana and pineapple peels that were classified organic food waste or kitchen waste were recycled and placed in UCSI community garden composting areas to be converted into compost.
Thanks to all who contributed in the Food Surplus Processing for Covid-19 Front-liners and Communities-in-need (Community Giving Back Programme) for making this programme possible and stay tuned for more events in future. Let’s join together fight food poverty, food waste and to continue to find ways to support one another through this challenging time!