KUALA LUMPUR – Petron Malaysia, in collaboration with NGO food bank, Food Aid Foundation (FAF), prepared and distributed 500 food packs to carers and hospital staff at Ampang Hospital recently.
Simply called ‘Petron VIA Sahur Project’, the initiative is now on its third year and involves 60 employees from its Volunteerism In Action program (VIA), who spent their Friday evening preparing, cooking, packing and distributing food packs to the carers and hospital staff at the hospital.
“Petron VIA Sahur Project was developed with the aim to ease and assist carers who are staying at the hospitals to take care of their loved ones. We understand that it could be challenging to find an eatery nearby and providing them with basic but nutritious food could alleviate the hassle of having to drive out of the hospital in search of sahur. This project also provides a window for Petron employees to give back to those in need especially during Ramadan,” said Zaimi Harun, Head of Corporate Affairs, Petron Malaysia.
Petron VIA Sahur Project aims to ease the burden of these families during the holy month of Ramadan. The volunteers previously distributed 400 food packs at Pusat Perubatan Universiti Malaya in 2017 and 500 packs at Hospital Selayang in 2018.
“This is our 3rd year collaborating with Petron Malaysia for Petron VIA Sahur Project. This program is different as volunteers need to prepare the meal from scratch, pack and deliver the meals to carers and hospital staff. Sharing sahur meal at the hospital is something not many will think of as carers and hospital staff usually do not have access to cafeteria food at night,” said Hayati Ismail, Operations Director of Food Aid Foundation.
To date, a total of 1,400 food packs have been distributed by Petron Malaysia in collaboration with Food Aid Foundation. In total, more than 110 Petron employees have volunteered for this program, and the company is not planning to slow down anytime soon.
According to Zaimi, “Our employees made this happen. Our collaboration with Food Aid Foundation enables the employees to work in their well-equipped kitchen and prepare, cook then pack the freshly cooked meals. We hope to continue this collaboration with FAF and other NGOs in the spirit of giving back to the community.”
Together with the lead chef and volunteers from FAF, Petron employees worked in three main groups at the FAF kitchen located in Cheras to prepare, pack then distribute the food. The selected menu for the project this year was white rice served with vegetable and chicken stew, packed together with a bottle of mineral water.
“The VIA Sahur Project by Petron Malaysia is an excellent program as the volunteers get to assist us to prepare the meals, pack and distribute, creating good teamwork. Food Aid Foundation views this as a way to cultivate volunteerism and teamwork in an organization while doing a good cause,” added Hayati.
This year, Petron’s VIA and FAF were determined to lessen the use of plastic in packing the food items for the Sahur Project. Plastic containers and cutleries as well as plastic bags were not used in a move to reduce plastic waste.
“I have volunteered for three years in a row for this Petron VIA Sahur Project. It has always been a wonderful and memorable experience for me. I enjoyed the kitchen activities and I am very glad that this year we decided to minimize the use of plastic items, being sensitive to the environment. Little changes can truly make a big difference,” said Ahmad Zaidi Shuhaimi, one of Petron’s regular volunteers.