This Social Enterprise Helps Reduce Food Waste in M’sia
Kuala Lumpur/ Terra/ Sustainability

This Social Enterprise Helps Reduce Food Waste, Save Communities in M’sia

This Social Enterprise Helps Reduce Food Waste Save Communities in Msia Photo by Facebook/What A Waste

Believe it or not, even in today’s economy, people are still wasting food. According to latest data from Solid Waste Management and Public Cleansing Corporation (SWCorp) via The Star’s report, Malaysia generated 17,007 tonnes of food waste per day in 2021. While 76% of them were inedible like fruit skin and bones, the remaining 24% were food that are still good to eat such as leftovers and vegetables.

Despite efforts to curb food wastage nationwide, these numbers have proven that there’s a serious food inequality problem in the country, where the less fortunate hope for donations so they can eat, while others take their meals for granted.

To help address this issue, one social enterprise has been stepping up to “build a symbiotic and sustainable food waste cycle that benefits all parties.”

Saving Food and the Community

Founded in 2018 by Angela Tan, What A Waste (WaW) started with the intention to reduce food waste and give back to the needy community. Their goal is to save as many surplus food as possible, no matter how small, to make sure that no good food is thrown away. They accept food donors from anyone, be it an individual or a restaurant, bakery, café, hotel, or food court.

In terms of who will receive the food, they do online and face-to-face assessments of people who reach out or are recommended to them. Charity organisations also suggest beneficiaries to make sure that what they collect will go to the most deserving recipients.

From Surplus Food to a Meal That Saves

What makes WaW unique is they follow a specific approach: they rescue leftover food (mostly from weddings and events), pack them accordingly, and give them to those in need right away for consumption. This lowers the risk of contamination as storage and recooking aren’t part of the process anymore.

“The hotels that we had rescued food from are beginning to acknowledge that our approach is revolutionary because there is no longer a need for double or triple handling anymore,” co-founder Alvin Chen told the Vulcan Post.

“And as a result, needy families get to be fed immediately (without having to wait for food to be recooked in soup kitchens) and it saves so much on utility bills.”

For uncooked and other types of food, they try to make products out of anything they rescue and sell them to support their mission.

For inquiries and more details about WaW’s initiative, visit their website or send an e-mail to [email protected]. You can also follow their Facebook and Instagram accounts for updates.

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