Hannah Yeoh's Segambut Food Bank Closes In 4 Hours After 853 People Showed Up For Aid
Member of Parliament (MP) Hannah Yeoh revealed that the Segambut Food Bank had to cease operations only four hours after they kickstarted the programme due to overcrowding
The Segambut MP took to Facebook and wrote, "After discussions with the police, we agreed to end the food bank due to high demand and some people came from areas as far as Selayang, Jinjang, Rawang, Batu Caves, and Petaling Jaya."
The programme took place yesterday, 13 July, at the Taman Desa Segambut Community Hall.
More than 800 people showed up to receive aid in the form of food items such as rice, cooking oil, bread, and milk
According to Yeoh's post, the crowd consisted of 853 people who lined up as early as one hour before the programme started.
She noted that the food bank came together as a result of donations from non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and private donors including the Taman Desa Segambut Residents' Association, Mont Kiara Residents' Association, Desa Sri Hartamas Residents' Association, Desa Sri Hartamas Owners and Traders Association, as well as companies such as Vitahealth Malaysia and Tedboy Bakery.
"I asked those who came about their current situation and most of them told me that they do not have incomes due to the inability to work during a lockdown," Yeoh wrote.
"We also distributed milk to those with babies and children. On the first day, I stood at the gate and felt like crying seeing the difficulty faced by the public right now. I'm sorry that I can't continue with the food bank but we will proceed to find a way to help those affected by the Movement Control Order (MCO)," she added.
The politician emphasised that the closure of the food bank was not a result of a direct order from the police.
Instead, the decision came about after a discussion with the authorities.
In a Twitter thread, Yeoh clarified, "My Facebook post states that our food bank had to be stopped after discussing with the police. Not ordered to stop. The policemen in Segambut have been very helpful during all our food distribution."
She then explained that it is not easy to manage 800 people in a crowd during a pandemic, especially when some are still not vaccinated.
"We do not have a waiting area big enough for such crowd. We have adjoining residential areas and having hundreds outside their house is a traffic challenge," she added.
"We will now find ways to mobilise our volunteers to continue this food aid via other methods, just not at one particular food bank. Most importantly, the government needs to face reality. Lockdown isn't feasible anymore. People have no income, government aid has not reached people."
She also urged for the National Security Council to find a way to reopen the economy.
In her Facebook post, she wrote, "Many have stayed home since 1 June and cannot take it anymore. Today's (13 July) cases reached 11,000. How to pay rent, utility bills, and food costs for a family while waiting for cases to go down? Use the right standard operating procedures (SOPs) and empower the people to fight COVID-19."