Recently, a group of volunteers representing Maersk Malaysia, a shipping company based here, headed for the 1Malaysia Soup Kitchen in Section 16, here, in two cars. The boots were filled with rice, cooking oil, sardines, baked beans, tea leaves, condensed milk, margarine, noodles, biscuits and other essentials.
Upon arrival, the Maersk group was greeted by Mohamad Sauffi Hamzah and his wife, Khaliza Khathom. The 1Malaysia Soup Kitchen is run by Sauffi, who set up the 1Malaysia Charity Organisation.
After unloading the essential items into the premises, the group went straight to business, serving the lunch crowd that had started to come in. The menu for the day was chicken rice with soup.
There were many schoolchildren who made their way to the Soup Kitchen to have their meals before they were off to school. These children live in the nearby low-cost flats.
The visit to the Soup Kitchen is part of Maersk’s CSR programme, under its “Caring and Sharing” theme, which supports programmes that improve the quality of life, education as well as green initiatives.
“It was a heartening experience, especially when seeing those elderly people and small kids coming for food here.
“It’s good to know that we still have people who care for the society and I admire Encik Sauffi’s effort in maintaining this centre.
“We have nothing to lose by giving back to the society, especially when it is for a noble cause. I look forward to more of such events,” said Maersk executive Siti Asma’ Abd Gani.
The 1Malaysia Soup Kitchen is at 16 Jalan Sempadan 16/7, Seksyen 16, Shah Alam. It is manned by volunteers and Sauffi’s relatives.
It is open daily from 10.30am to 6pm, except Sundays and is frequented by 300 urban poor on a daily basis.
Some are single mothers and elderly folk abandoned by their children or relatives and are forced to fend for themselves.
The Soup Kitchen is also the drop-off point for food stuff, clothing and books for the poor. In addition, the place is kept open every Friday evening for free tuition conducted by volunteers for the children in the area.