BREAD can be the best staple food to counter hunger. Likewise, education is essential to breaking the cycle of poverty.
Having a suitable school bag is important to school going children as it contains all the necessary stationery which is required for the classes.
However, going to school with a new school backpack is a luxury for certain quarters, particularly the B40 community.
Thus, in collaboration with the Community Welfare Department and Consumers Association of Harapan Malaysia, Gardenia Bakeries (KL) Sdn Bhd (Gardenia KL) – through its Bag-2-School initiative – distributed 1,157 school backpacks containing water tumblers and an assortment of Gardenia products valued at RM90,000.
Equipped with basic schooling necessities following the return of students to classrooms to resume the 2021 school term, the backpacks were distributed from April 7 to 15 to support underprivileged school-going children from 18 schools in the Klang Valley and Johor.
“We believe that having nice new accessories also plays a part in putting children in the right frame of mind for learning,” shared Gardenia KL corporate affairs and public relations general manager Hazlinah Harun.
Introduced in 2015, Gardenia KL’s Bag-2-School initiative is an annual tradition. In the spirit of giving back to the community, Gardenia KL employees independently raised the funds for the purchase of water tumblers and personally prepared each school backpack in solidarity with children from families in need.
“We aim to get our children excited about going back to school and learning for an equal chance to realise their full potential,” Hazlinah added.
The 18 beneficiaries under this year’s Bag-2-School initiative comprised 10 schools in the Klang Valley, namely SK Seksyen 9 Kota Damansara, Petaling; SK Taman Cuepacs, Cheras; SJK Cina Lum Hua, Sabak Bernam; SMK Taman Selayang, Batu Caves; SMK Taman Klang Utama, Klang; SMK Sijangkang Jaya, Kuala Langat; SJK Tamil Bandar Baru Salak Tinggi, Sepang; SJK Tamil Ladang West Country Barat, Kajang; SJK Tamil Ladang Bute, Sepang; and SJK Tamil Sepang.
The remaining eight consisted of schools in Johor namely, SMK Seri Bali, Segamat; SJK Tamil Paloh; SJK Tamil Ladang Sri Gading, Batu Pahat; SK Kampung Kudung, Bekok; SK Seri Yong Peng; SJK Tamil Ladang Kulai Oil Palm, Kulai; SJK Tamil Ladang Kelan, Kulai and SJK Tamil Ladang Southern Malay, Renggam.
“We look forward to healthier and happier days ahead, especially for our children as they discover new things and expand their horizons in the 2021 school year,” Hazlinah envisioned.
Meanwhile, Gardenia KL continues to stand in support of the nation as it recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic. Early last year the bread manufacturer allocated RM1 mil for its Gardenia COVID-19 Aid Programme in response to the impact of the movement control order (MCO) on B40 households.
To date, the Gardenia COVID-19 Aid Programme has contributed aid over four phases and Gardenia KL outreach efforts through the programme is ongoing as the nation continues to recover from the pandemic.
The initiative has benefitted the Food Bank Programme, B40 households and front liners including delivery riders and taxi drivers serving the community with critical services since March 2020. – April 27, 2021