LAHAD DATU: When words got out about the Food Basket programme arriving at the Tungku district near here, Siti Hanyah Johardi did not waste time to get monthly food supply for her malnourished daughter.
Even if it means she had to travel a distant.
Since then, Siti Hanyah would turn up every month at the health clinic to collect the food package, which comprises rice, breakfast cereal, milk, multivitamins and other supplements.
She would get up early in the morning, walk to the paved roadside, and hitch a ride to the clinic, about 13 kilometres away, along with her three-year-old daughter Nor Ani Sazira.
“I want to give my daughter a chance to grow well and healthy. I cannot bear to see her so thin and sickly,” said the housewife.
This month, it would be the eighth time Nor Aini is receiving her monthly food basket – a joint programme between Petronas and the state health department to assist malnourished children obtain balanced and nutritious food.
In August last year, she was identified among 76 children in Lahad Datu as suffering from malnutrition, and was placed under the Food Basket programme. Prior to receiving her food supply, Nor Ani was thin and pale. Now, the girl appears healthy and jovial.
Siti Hanyah said Nor Ani, her youngest, used to weigh eight kilogrammes, but now she is slowly tipping 11kg at the weighing scale, after taking nutritious food and supplements.
“I am so grateful with the aid, and hope she will continue to grow healthily. I will do whatever it takes to get money to take her to the clinic every month,” said the mother of five.
Siti Hanyah said her husband, who works in a factory, is the family sole breadwinner. She added there is usually not much money left to spend every month after paying for the daily essentials.
As part of Petronas’ sustainable Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) effort that aims to contribute to the well-being of society, Yayasan Petronas – the company’s CSR arm - works closely with the state health department to implement the programme.
According to Petronas, about 700 children have benefited from the programme since it was initiated in mid-2017. Under the programme, Petronas provides funds for the supply and delivery of monthly food packages to 130 government clinics in 13 districts in the state.
Other districts benefitting from the programme are Pitas, Kota Marudu, Kinabatangan, Tongod, Sipitang, Kudat, Kuala Penyu, Kota Belud, Beaufort, Tuaran, Penampang, and Ranau.
Apart from the Food Basket programme, Petronas has also initiated Planting Tomorrow – a nurturing livelihood programme in Kota Marudu and Pitas – and two education infrastructure projects, namely the Asrama Harian Luar Bandar in Pulau Balambangan and MARA Junior Science College (MRSM) in Ranau.