Food warriors to wrangle wastage with app

Food warriors to wrangle wastage with app

What a Waste movement also eyes new B40-staffed central kitchen

KUALA LUMPUR – A dedicated food-rescue movement based in Subang is looking to set up a central kitchen and an accompanying app to help feed the B40 group in the near future.

Married couple Angela Tan and Alvin Chen started What a Waste in 2018 when they realised that nothing is more important than the well-being of the environment.

“Both of us come from an architectural background and we took the leap of faith to be (closer to) the B40 communities – and the whole set up of What A Waste officially grew from a movement to a public platform,” said Chen.

He said that what started out as a food-rescue movement quickly gained requests from different companies as well as members of the public for food-rescue missions.

“Factually speaking, we found that every two weeks the amount of food that Malaysians bin could fill the Petronas Twin Towers to the brim.

“To quantify this into numbers, this is 3,000 to 4,000 tonnes of good food being wasted every day,” said Chen.

To date, What A Waste has managed to prevent six million kg of food from being dumped in landfills.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, Chen said that What A Waste managed to penetrate the farmers’ markets as well as wholesalers, where they managed to salvage many perishables like fruits and vegetables.

“During this time, we were concurrently passing these ingredients to single-mother groups from the B40 community who weren’t able to work, and hired them to prepare the food for others who needed the food,” said the movement’s co-founder.

Chen also stated that the movement’s concept is to stop food from going to landfills, so he would accept the food making its way to the M40 and T20 communities.

“We are also in the midst of trying to generate more revenue to accumulate whatever funds we can to eventually start our very first B40 central kitchen.

“With the recruitment of single mothers from the B40 communities as home cooks, they have equipped themselves with cooking skills and they get paid to churn out food packs every weekend,” said Chen.

According to the food warrior, the money that they get from corporations and the public who order the food packs is entirely given to the cooks as their income.

“The main purpose of the app that we are about to launch is to be able to directly link our beneficiaries from urban areas to our food partners, such as participating restaurants and food chains,” he said.

He also stated that food vendors who are left with extra food are then required to take a picture and record the quantity and weight. The beneficiaries would then be able to self-collect them through a QR code.

“I’m really hoping once the app is launched, we are able to see very tangible and greater results in terms of public participation,” he said.

Chen also hopes that through monthly coverage of What A Waste activities, the movement will be able to attract corporate sponsors to expedite the setting-up process.

source – The Vibes

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