Yearly, 8.3 million metric tonnes of meals is wasted in Malaysia. That’s greater than 22,000 tonnes day by day.
On the similar time, many go hungry on this nation every day. Clearly, there’s a spot between the meals that’s obtainable and the individuals who want it essentially the most.
One organisation that’s addressing this concern is Kenyang. That means “full” in Bahasa Melayu, Kenyang is an Ipoh-based organisation that goals to maintain its beneficiaries’ tummies satiated.
They do that by partnering with organisations corresponding to Rise In opposition to Starvation, BEACON Rooster, Incredible Pastry Academy, and vegetable farmers from Cameron Highlands who present surplus meals that will have in any other case entered landfills.
Founder Tan Yuen Mun (Mun) was first impressed to feed the neighborhood when she got here throughout Hamka, a scholarship scholar who was learning to grow to be a health care provider. But, he was about to drop out of college on account of his poor well being stemming from an absence of meals.
“Witnessing Hamka, who as soon as was on the point of educational fallout on account of well being points, however has since graduated as a household drugs specialist, affirmed our perception to help the underprivileged,” Mun shared.
At this time, Kenyang helps poor communities grow to be impartial, beginning by actually placing meals on their tables.
A grassroots venture
Beginning out, Mun didn’t envision Kenyang to be an enormous venture. It merely began as a result of she observed college students have been missing meals.
Nonetheless, when she started offering meals in 2019, Mun understood the true concern of meals insecurity.
“Kenyang slowly advanced as an answer to this downside,” Mun defined.
The thought for it started in 2022, and it took greater than 15 months to launch the feeding programme in November 2023.
“I dug into my very own financial savings for the preliminary funding to kickstart Kenyang,” the founder mentioned.
Previous to Kenyang, Mun spent 10 years working a homestay in KL in addition to a catering service, offering her with the know-how to run Kenyang.
At this time, Kenyang is her full-time dedication, although she financially sustains herself with different earnings sources together with her homestays.
In the meantime, Kenyang is sustained due to the collaboration of people and NGOs. Mun additionally secured funding from Biji Biji Accelerator Initiative, contributing to the beginning of Kenyang’s feeding programme and improvement of 117 Hub, Ipoh.
117 Hub serves as a homebase for Kenyang the place the crew coordinates distribution of their meals.
However past that, it capabilities as an establishment the place Mun and her crew educate about dwelling sustainably. It’s a centre for his or her hands-on residence dwelling programme for corporates and faculties, in addition to a sustainable neighborhood backyard for individuals to develop their very own crops.
The hub’s first part, which is the 117 Hub homestay has been accomplished and is ready to open within the first quarter of this yr. The upcoming part two will contain the sustainable residence dwelling mannequin and a rooftop backyard, whereas part three might be about planting ulam and different edible crops.
Apart from the assist of Biji-Biji Initiative, Kenyang additionally stays afloat via a mixture of private and goodwill seed cash.
Affect over earnings
The beneficiaries of Kenyang are these whom they imagine who want the assist essentially the most—youngsters aged between 7 to 12 years previous from the B40 neighborhood.
Apart from offering meals, Kenyang helps them in private development, research, and different helpful expertise, setting them up for achievement in secondary faculty.
Kenyang additionally helps adults by providing coaching in expertise that match what native firms are on the lookout for. This aligns with their larger aim of empowering individuals for the long run.
“At Kenyang, our main focus is on giving again to the neighborhood somewhat than earnings,” Mun mentioned when requested about Kenyang’s income mannequin. “As a substitute of searching for financial positive factors, we channel our efforts into salvaging meals that will in any other case go to waste and redistributing it to these in want.”
She believes that by holding individuals in Ipoh well-fed, they are going to have the power to beat challenges.
For 2024, Kenyang goals to extend its affect. Final yr, the crew supplied meals for 32 youngsters, and are actually aiming to assist 45 children.
To do that, the reply lies in strategic partnerships and collaboration. They’ll want coaches or mentors for his or her sustainability programmes, suppliers for the Kenyang RM0 meal initiative, and sponsors for numerous actions corresponding to boot camps and scholar household welfare programmes.
Aiming for 117 Hub to grow to be self-sufficient in three to 5 years’ time, they may even have income-generating initiatives just like the homestay, sustainable gardens, and different food-related providers.
Give a person a fish
Because the well-known adage goes, “Give a person a fish, and also you feed him for a day. Train a person to fish, and also you feed him for a lifetime.”
This quote highlights the significance of not simply giving handouts, however as an alternative offering information to be self-sustaining. Kenyang conducts itself in accordance with this mindset by going past fast help.
“We aren’t practising a ‘hand-out’ mannequin however working in direction of a ‘3-In-1’ mannequin the place everybody performs a component in ensuring nobody goes hungry,” Mun mentioned. The three in three-in-one refers to recipient, sponsor, and Kenyang.
Nonetheless, earlier than individuals can start to be self-sustaining, they need to first have sufficient power and meals to cowl their primary wants. Simply take a look at Hamka’s case. So, Kenyang begins its assist with meals, however the finish aim is to assist recipients till they will stand on their very own.
“Success for Kenyang is when recipients not depend on Kenyang meals, can generate their very own earnings, and undertake sustainable dwelling and 0 waste ideas,” Mun mentioned.
Be taught extra about Kenyang right here.
Learn different articles we’ve written about social enterprises right here.
Featured Picture Credit score: Kenyang