Thursday, July 25, 2024
26 C
Brunei Town

Time to consider soup kitchen amid rising costs

It is high time to consider a soup kitchen that provides warm meals for the underprivileged with a food bank on the side to receive and distribute basic necessities.

In recent months, every trip to the supermarket has been filled with stress as the surging food costs mean I have to watch what I put in my trolley. I know of people who have stopped baking or cooking certain foods to cut costs.

For someone with a full-time job, I have the luxury to decide how to live comfortably with my income. However, such is not the case for the needy.

Since COVID-19 hit two years ago, the authorities have been pushing for a whole-of-nation approach to battling the pandemic. Perhaps the focus should now be shifted to the food crisis by working with multiple channels to ensure a soup kitchen that is self-sustaining.

As much as poverty is an issue in the country, so is food waste. Restaurants and supermarkets often throw out leftovers at the end of the business day. Instead of discarding these items, why not redirect them to a centre that feeds the poor?

It is true that there are countless non-profit organisations (NGOs) offering assistance to the underprivileged. However, quite a number of them are poorly advertised.

Unless the NGO delivers the goods to the doorstep, most are left in the dark as to how to receive the help they need. Thus, a one-stop, year-round operation would allow them, as well as the general public, to know there is a place to meet basic food needs.

A deal could also be made with the bus service provider to ensure the needy living along the bus routes get a free pass to the centre. Same goes for volunteers who have vehicles. Those in the rural areas could arrange for pick-ups, and the immobile could opt to have their meals and basic necessities delivered to their homes.

While the inflation issue would subside in time, there will always be a crisis around the corner that poses a challenge to the poor. As a society, we need to start working out a better way to help them, especially those who have repeatedly fallen through the cracks.