UCSI University recently hosted the Kechara Soup Kitchen (KSK) Society Food Bank Symposium and the non-profit group’s 10th anniversary celebration.
Themed “Hunger Knows No Boundaries”, the symposium was attended by Tengku Zatasha Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah, Minister of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs, Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail and International Trade and Industry Deputy Minister Dr Ong Kian Ming.
The decennial anniversary celebration included a giant cook-out by 60 UCSI University Hospitality and Tourism Management students and staff, with food items and ingredients sponsored by Tesco.
When delivering her speech, Tengku Zatasha pointed out that she had been a volunteer with KSK some years ago.
“I saw what was happening on the streets and I wanted to help these people back into society,” she said.
As a solution to manage food wastage and to simultaneously feed the hungry, Tengku Zatasha said she started her own initiative called Zero Food Wastage seven years ago.
According to her, with the help of the government and the industry, including KSK, the initiative was what she had dreamed and hoped for.
Meanwhile, Saifuddin Nasution lauded KSK for its initiative and encouraged the public to participate in such a worthy cause.
Founded by H.E. Tsem Rinpoche in 2006 and registered as an NGO two years later, KSK gathers over 10,000 Malaysians annually to help each other in a multitude of ways.
Some of KSK’s initiatives include serving over thousands of meals, delivering regular food parcels to families and helping doctors and other medical personnel treat thousands of patients annually, and even helping with free eye-checks and hair-cuts.
“While we have grown in scale and impact over the past decade, we have remained true to our original mission of feeding the less fortunate. Hunger knows no barriers, and there are hundreds who go hungry daily in the heart of the Golden Triangle alone. Identifying the hot spots and providing aid in the most respectful and thoughtful manner possible is the ethos of KSK. We are proud of what we have achieved but much more needs to be done,” said President of KSK, Henry Ooi.
Other speakers at the symposium were Project Director of KSK, Justin Cheah, The Food Bank Singapore’s Management Associate Jessie Tan, Food Aid Foundation Operations Director Hayati Ismail, Co-chairman of Second Harvest Asia Bruce Hall, Founder of Good Food Grocer, Philippines Jomar Fleras and Founder of Second Harvest Japan, Charles McJilton.
The Symposium was followed by an auction organised by KSK for the guests in the evening where items such as used handbags and paintings were sold.
There was also a generous donation of RM5,000 to KSK by deputy minister Ong.