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HEINEKEN Cares: Food Aid for the Needy

HEINEKEN Cares: Food Aid for the Needy

More than 94,000 meals were donated to over 7,300 beneficiaries affected by the pandemic.

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In support of Malaysia’s recovery, Heineken Malaysia Berhad (HEINEKEN Malaysia) has been distributing meals to communities affected by the COVID-19 pandemic through its HEINEKEN Cares programme. Since the programme’s launch on 26 July 2021, more than 94,000 meals have been distributed to over 7,300 beneficiaries as of 31 October 2021. The ultimate goal of the programme is to provide 150,000 meals by 31 December 2021 to communities affected by job or income loss as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In partnership with eight non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and social enterprises, HEINEKEN Malaysia has channelled food aid to assist vulnerable communities throughout Peninsular and East Malaysia.

Dialogue Includes All, a social enterprise that promotes social inclusion for people with disabilities, distributed packed meals specially prepared and cooked by a team comprising individuals with vision impairments, as well as those with autism and physical disabilities. The meals were channelled towards households in the B40 group, refugee families as well as the disabled communities and needy folks at various care centres.

Stevens Chan, Founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Dialogue Includes All, said, “The primary cause of Dialogue Includes All is to foster a society that is not only inclusive but empathetic, with zero barriers and separation between the abled and disabled communities. Our workforce comprises vulnerable individuals, whom we strongly believe deserve equal rights and equal participation in society.”

He added, “Through HEINEKEN Cares programme, we provided food aid for members of vulnerable communities, while training and equipping members of our team with the skills required to run a Cloud kitchen kiosk.”

Meanwhile Epic (Extraordinary People Impacting Communities) Society, a nonprofit organisation focused on providing basic infrastructure, welfare, and capacity building to enable social mobility and relief of poverty within vulnerable communities, delivered food baskets and hygiene kits to Orang Asli families and villagers whose day-to-day activities have been greatly affected by the pandemic and lockdowns.

John-Son Oei, Founder of Epic, said, “Although the Orang Asli are a resilient people, the pandemic and the movement control orders have severely affected their ability to move about freely thus severely disrupting their livelihoods. We believe that the aid provided through HEINEKEN Cares will enable the communities to ride out this tough season.

“We are extremely grateful for the support of HEINEKEN Malaysia. All assistance will be dedicated towards our ongoing relief work for the Orang Asli, with the aim to reduce their burdens and ease their transitions to the New Normal,” he added.

The Orang Asli growing their own produce.
(Credit: Heineken Malaysia)

Beyond Peninsular Malaysia, HEINEKEN Malaysia also partnered with two NGOs namely Hopes Malaysia Welfare Association (HOPES Malaysia) and Hope Place Kuching to assist vulnerable families residing in Sabah and Sarawak.

Kota Kinabalu-based HOPES Malaysia has extended a helping hand to both rural villages and care centres in Sabah.

Through the HEINEKEN Cares programme, HOPES Malaysia purchases fresh fruits and vegetables from farmers in four of HOPES rural project villages to support the local Kota Belud community when agriculture activities and livelihoods have been affected due to the pandemic. The NGO then delivers these food supplies to several targeted care centres to help reduce their financial burdens and provide them with an ample supply of fresh produce.

Founder of HOPES Malaysia, Sam Lee, said, “We believe that there are many ways to help those in need besides monetary assistance. The three most important components that we firmly hold on to are ‘Sustainable’, ‘Impact’ and ‘Practical’.”

“What we have been doing to the best our ability during the pandemic is providing a long-term and practical solution to lift the burden of the less fortunate Sabahans and assist the country in its efforts to fight the pandemic which has threatened food security and undermined households’ diets and nutrition. Together with HEINEKEN Malaysia, we will provide over 24,000 nutritious meals to 150 beneficiaries within four months. Our partnership with HEINEKEN Cares supports these communities and families in need with basic provisions to ensure they have access to daily meals and improved income stream,” he added.

On the other hand, Hope Place Kuching operates with the mission of channelling basic food aid and necessities to the underprivileged in Sarawak to improve their livelihoods, health and education status. Throughout the pandemic and its collaboration with HEINEKEN Cares, the NGO has reached out to 200 families comprising single parents, abandoned elderlies, B40 individuals as well as persons with disabilities, to supply grocery items such as rice, biscuits, noodles, cooking oil, sugar, and eggs, among others.

“At Hope Place, we want to see more underprivileged people of Kuching be given a chance to come out from poverty. Part of our larger mission is to challenge ourselves to be the beacon for the vulnerable and create awareness that it is a shared responsibility of the community of Kuching to show concern and to take care of one another,” said Yong Tiong Yieng, Hope Place Kuching operation supervisor.

“Taking part in the HEINEKEN Cares programme is another step for us to achieve this goal. Therefore, we would like to give our utmost thanks and appreciation to HEINEKEN Malaysia for their sponsorship and support to our organisation,” she added.

To help mitigate the negative impacts of a prolonged lockdown, HEINEKEN Malaysia launched HEINEKEN Cares, an initiative combining employee wellness with community purpose. Through the programme, for every 1,000 steps a HEINEKEN Malaysia employee takes, HEINEKEN Malaysia will commit 1 meal to a person in need, with the ultimate goal of achieving 150,000,000 steps for 150,000 meals for vulnerable communities across Malaysia by 31 December 2021. The HEINEKEN Cares programme is administered by SPARK Foundation, HEINEKEN Malaysia’s CSR arm.

HEINEKEN Malaysia will reach out to its regional sales team to collaborate with its business partners in the month of December to bring HEINEKEN Cares to the regions.

Further information on HEINEKEN Malaysia’s sustainability and initiatives can be found at HEINEKEN Malaysia’s official website: https://www.heinekenmalaysia.com/ or SPARK Foundation’s official website: https://sparkfoundation.com.my/

To help the vulnerable and those in need, feel free to contact the HEINEKEN Cares partners listed above:


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