Food waste is an unceasing problem in our country where households account for 44.5% of the 16,667.5 tonnes of food waste generated in Malaysia daily.
Most of this food waste is classified as still edible, its quantity sufficient enough to provide three meals to over 2 million people a day.
Think about the panic buying of bread, rice, and eggs that ended up in our garbage cans during the MCO, going to landfills to produce large amounts of methane.
Food waste is a massive world problem that’s still often overlooked, but here are 11 organisations in Malaysia that are doing something about it.
1. Food Aid Foundation
Food Aid Foundation is an NGO in KL that collects unwanted food and doubles as a food bank for those in need.
Started in 2013, they collect surplus food from manufacturers, distributors, wholesalers, retailers, companies, or citizens who donate them.
Some of their partner wholesalers include grocery stores like Tesco, Giant, and Big Aeon, as well as hotels like Hilton Hotel PJ and Pullman Hotels And Resorts.
The food is redistributed to charitable/welfare homes, volunteer welfare organisations, refugee communities, poor families, and soup kitchens.
Total Saved: They’ve helped 240,000 people.
Get Involved: Arrange a donation or volunteer with them.
Contact: Call their office at 03-9226 5500 or email them via firstname.lastname@example.org.
2. Green Hero
Resold food on the platform includes sushi, bread, cakes, pastries, bento boxes, and groceries sold at discounted prices to customers on a budget.
Items sold on the platform are sans branding to maintain the reputation of its retailers whose food’s quality may be reduced by the time it’s consumed.
For consumers, you can choose to buy the food from their Facebook page and arrange for a pickup or delivery from an agreed spot via WhatsApp.
The social enterprise also allows users to donate excess food to children living in shelter homes and arrange for surplus food from events to be distributed to those in need.
Total Saved: Collected 23,000kg of excess food which helped over 70 F&B businesses solve their food surplus problem in 2016.
Get Involved: Purchase the excess food at discounted prices through their Facebook page.
Contact: Arrange for pickup or delivery via WhatsApp 011-6182 2477.
3. Life Origin
Primarily a farm harvesting Black Soldier Flies (BSF), Life Origin is a profit-driven social enterprise that converts organic waste from excess food and repurposes it into protein for consumption.
Started in 2019, the fly farm collects organic food waste and sterilises them through a fermentation process.
The flies and their larvae are bred in-house to maintain their hygiene and sold as animal feed to poultry and fish, while its residue can be turned into fertiliser for plants.
The larvae are also sold for human consumption as a high protein alternative as snacks, or in a burger.
Total Saved: N/A.
Get Involved: Purchase their BSF products on their website.
Establishment in 2011, Mentari Alam EKO (MAEKO) produces machines that accelerate the composting process for food waste.
The organisation has sold and rented their patented machines to hotels, supermarkets, factories, education institutions, and hospitals.
Some clients who use their machines include F&N, Petronas, Gamuda, and Sunway Pyramid, to name a few.
The compost can then be sold to consumers and businesses as fertilisers for their gardening and landscaping needs.
This serves as an additional revenue stream for corporations.
Total Saved: 6,165,865kg of food waste rescued for compost.
Get Involved: N/A.
Contact: Mae Ooi at 012-346 1586 or email email@example.com.
Started in the UK, OLIO is an app available in Malaysia that connects neighbours and local businesses to buy and sell surplus food.
This could be food nearing its sell-by date, spare home-grown vegetables, bread from local bakeries, or excess groceries in your fridge.
For a user’s convenience, OLIO can also be used to list non-food household items too.
Both users and sellers can set a meetup location to exchange items or make requests on the platform to find specific items too.
Total Saved: 6,596,143 portions of food shared to 2,347,202 users.
Contact: Get in touch on Facebook.
6. Pasar Grub
Formerly known as Grub Cycle, Pasar Grub is an initiative that sells oversupply and sometimes funny-looking but edible produce to low-income communities.
They’ve aided the financial burden of PPR Lembah Subang’s community for over 2 years by selling them fruits and vegetables below market price.
Since the MCO, they started an initiative called Grub Bag 2.0 to help the community Mak Ciks by giving them weekly vegetables for a month.
Total Saved: 4,714kg of vegetables collected that benefited 1,594 families with nutritious food as of June this year.
Get Involved: With every RM10 donated, Pasar Brub will give a Grug Bag 2.0 to a Mak Cik in PPR Lembah Subang.
Contact: Get in touch on Facebook or message 017-626 2477.
With a mission to fight against food waste and food poverty, SESO also works by collecting food waste and doubles as a soup kitchen.
SESO rescues surplus food from supermarkets, grocery stores, and shops that would otherwise have been wasted.
It’s then turned into 3-course meals from their makeshift kitchen spaces in community centres.
These meals are then served in a warm and welcoming environment to their street-friends and any member of the public who would like to join.
Some of their partners and donors include KPMG, Jaya Grocer, Reliance College, Sunway University, Multimedia University, and Street Feeders.
Total Saved: Served more than 2,000 meals in 2017.
Get Involved: Become a sponsor or partner with them.
Contact: Call them at 012-210 3792 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
8. The Lost Food Project
The Lost Food Project (TLFP) is a non-profit that prevents quality, nutritious food and other surplus goods from going to the landfill by redistributing them to those in need.
TLFP rescues an average of 10 tonnes of surplus food per week from supermarkets, manufacturers, and wholesalers who are committed to reducing waste and feeding the less fortunate.
They’re able to provide an average of 33,000 meals a week for their charity partners and Malaysians living on or below the poverty line from their rescued food alone.
Food collected by the non-profit has to be within its expiry dates including fruit, vegetables, meat, dry goods, baked goods, dairy products, etc.
Total Saved: 1,478,873kg of food rescued.
Get Involved: Donate BITES points from Village Grocer and B.I.G. to support TLFP’s operational costs.
Contact: Reach them on Facebook or email email@example.com.
9. What A Waste
The team rescues both perishable and dry food, with most of the surplus meals coming from events, restaurants, and hotel buffets.
To minimise the risk of food contamination, the food is picked up and immediately sent to marginalised communities.
Currently, they don’t accept expired food despite most of them still being edible due to regulations set by the Ministry of Health in Malaysia.
Total Saved: 1,026,000kg of food rescued and served 162,300 food packs during MCO.
Editor’s Note: The above paragraph was edited to reflect further accuracy.
Get Involved: Donate your surplus food to them through their Facebook page.
Contact: Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
10. Worming Up
Worming Up is a social project based in Kuching, Sarawak that aims to reduce organic waste and recycle leftover food back into the ecosystem.
After collecting food waste from restaurants, markets, and school canteens, the food is sterilised in a steamer and fed to the maggots and superworms bred in-house.
The bugs will then be harvested and sold to pet shops, reptile breeders, as well as poultry and fish farms as animal feed.
Total Saved: N/A.
Get Involved: Donate to their fundraising event here.
11. Yayasan Food Bank
Yayasan Food Bank is a non-profit NGO established in 2019 as part of the “inisiatif peduli rakyat” (caring nation) by the Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs (KPDNHEP).
They’re also involved in rescuing surplus food from manufacturers, wholesalers, hypermarkets, and hotels.
It’s then sorted and redistributed to identified targeted B40 communities in higher learning institutions, charity homes, and those in the Program Perumahan Rakyat Termiskin (PPRT).
Food Aid Foundation and The Lost Food Project are also their partners helping them with their initiatives in helping underprivileged families.
Total Saved: 622,726 households helped and 77,251 students fed.
Get Involved: Donate or volunteer with them here.
Contact: Call them at 03-8736 0117 or connect on Facebook.
The initiatives conducted by the names above are killing two birds with one stone. All of them are not just reducing the food waste in our country, but also helping out another community in its own way.
But it’s not realistic to rely on these names alone. We personally should be a lot more conscious of how much we consume, and buy only what is needed.
On the other hand, if we find that we still have a surplus of edible food and goods, we can always donate them to the needy within our own time and means as well.
- You can read other listicles we’ve written here.
- You can read about other Malaysian social enterprises here.
Featured Image Credit: What A Waste