Suet Beng, a working mother of a 7-year old and twin 4-year olds is the founder of The Assembly Soup Kitchen (TASK). We call her at the start of our Wednesday, and she takes the call from her car, seemingly already in the middle of hers.
“Really, thank you so much for your veggies. They were such a treat for the communities. The sad truth is, the poor always gets second grade things. Often, the produce we receive are old, and half of them don’t even make it to our meal packs, they have to go to the compost.”
Suet Beng, her husband, and an army of about 150 volunteers prepare and distribute meal boxes and care packages to refugees, foreign workers, B40 communities, elderly homes, special needs centres, and orphanages.
The pandemic has struck a devastating blow to the underprivileged. The loss of jobs means the increased need for food aid. In an unstable economy, people are tightening their belts and contributing less, while volunteers’ movements are restricted, creating complications for things like delivery and distribution.
While TASK used to operate from a central kitchen, volunteers now cook from their own homes. “Even though their (volunteers’) own incomes are affected, they still want to help. They are unable to contribute money, so they help by cooking instead”, Suet Beng explains.
As much as weekly menus are dependent on food contributions, balanced nutrition is always on Suet Beng’s mind. “We ensure each rice box has a good balance of protein and vegetables. I was worried about where we would get our vegetables from, as Cameron Highlands is on lockdown (EMCO). This was when I received a call from Cultiveat! God answered my prayers”.
“I remember waking up at 3am one day, and felt God’s calling to help those in need. There is a lot of planning involved, and many challenges. On the weekends, my husband and I run around non-stop. But the purpose is clear…and we cannot lose sight of it. With His grace, we believe everything will fall into place”, Suet Beng says, as a phone call interrupts our chat, and she whizzes off, continuing her run.
To donate or volunteer, contact TASK on their Facebook page.