Humanity Food Van Expands Food Distribution During Coronavirus Pandemic

Ten Humanity Food Van (HFV) units will operate in the Greater Jakarta area to distribute thousands of meal packages every day produced by the Humanity Central Kitchen.

The Humanity Food Vans are ready to distribute free meals to underprivileged residents in Jakarta Metropolitan Area. (ACTNews / Eko Ramdani)

ACTNews, JAKARTA - Aksi Cepat Tanggap (ACT) once again launched a derivative program of the Free Meal Operation, namely Humanity Food Van from Humanity Central Kitchen. This program was launched in Sentul, Bogor, West Java on Tuesday (4/7). This program marks ACT’s commitment and aims to strengthen ACT’s actions in providing food for the impoverished communities during the coronavirus pandemic. Ten Humanity Food Van (HFV) units will operate in the Greater Jakarta area. These vans will distribute thousands of meal packages every day, produced by Humanity Central Kitchen.

The program also shows ACT's optimism in facing COVID-19 pandemic, as the humanitarian programs that ACT have initiated have been supported by the care and generosity of the community to help others. Ahyudin, chairman of ACT’s Supervisory Board stated that this optimistic spirit and kindness needs to be instilled in the Indonesian community.

“What we must always remember is COVID-19 is a disaster from Allah the Most Kind, so there must also be kindness. This nation is a kind nation. One proof of this kindness is this nation’s ability to help each other. We show this kindness through the Indonesia Dermawan movement. In the time of epidemic, we must increase our gratitude to Allah. In addition, as we know, especially for Muslims, the best charity is the charity given during difficult times like now," he said.

COVID-19 pandemic affects the society not only from health aspect, but also economic aspect. More impoverished communities need to be supported by the collaboration of all elements to meet their needs for food.

"We will continue to spread the movement of optimism through the #SpreadOptimismVirus movement. We have also launched a new theme for our programs named "Together Protecting the Nation". This is all our work to expand this national solidarity, not just for a handful of people, but everyone. This is because our nation is a nation of strugglers. What we really want is that these small movements become a big wave of kindness in Indonesia. With a sense of optimism, we invite all elements of the nation to work together in this national solidarity movement, "Ahyudin added.

Prior to the launching of this program, the Free Meal Operation has been running with the support of the Humanity Food Trucks as well as 1,000 partnering wartegs (small restaurants). The Humanity Food Truck targets wider beneficiaries by parking in or near public facilities to enable beneficiaries to gather and take free meal packages. Therefore, the Humanity Food Trucks often stopped near city squares, mosques, hospitals, disaster-hit sites, etc. The smaller size of the Humanity Food Vans will enable them to visit remote locations and to deliver the meal packages directly to the recipients.

The cooks in the Humanity Central Kitchen preparing nutritious dishes that will be distributed by the Humanity Food Vans to the needy. (ACTNews / Eko Ramdani)

ACT Program Director Bambang Triyono explained, the Humanity Food Van program was part of ACT's efforts to channel the donations mandated by Indonesian generous benefactors. The meal packages will then be distributed to all people in need, from grassroot communities, daily workers, to informal workers at the time of pandemic. Previously, the Free Meal Operation partnering with 1,000 wartegs have allowed beneficiaries to eat in small restaurants. Through this Humanity Food Vans, the meals will be directly delivered to the beneficiaries.

"To date, through the Free Food Operation, ACT has distributed 1,750 tons of staple food to 850,000 beneficiaries. ACT has involved 10,000 volunteers in 15,000 distribution actions throughout Indonesia. All of these are a proof that generosity in this country has not faded despite the circumstances. This is what we must continue to echo: the spirit of national generosity," added Bambang.

Chef Joni Kusumahadi as the Coordinator of Humanity Central Kitchen explained that the new Central Kitchen which started operating in early March immediately took part in humanitarian missions to supply the needs of the Humanity Food Trucks and Humanity Food Vans. He was grateful that the kitchen that he manages produces meals for humanitarian actions.

"In addition to the kitchen in Ciawi, Bogor, Humanity Central Kitchen also has a satellite kitchen in Menara 165 and Pondok Gede. During this time, we involve many people, to collaborate on providing food. We collaborate with Masyarakat Relawan Indonesia (MRI) and our surrounding communities. Alhamdulillah, the Humanity Central Kitchen can be beneficial for many people. Within a day, we can produce thousands of meal packages for the distributions in Jakarta Metropolitan Area," concluded Joni. []