When you think about hungry children, you probably think about Africa. There are millions of starving kids in Africa, so many of them that the continent has become the poster child of world hunger. You donate money to causes across the world, knowing that you’re making a difference, but what about in your own backyard?
There Are Still Hungry Kids Here, in Malaysia
Having made great strides since 1990, Malaysia is home to far less hungry children today than it was 30 years ago. However, hunger still prevails in some parts of the country, away from peering eyes. We are still rated “moderate (5.0 – 9.9)” for severity of hunger in the 2013 Global Hunger Index (GHI) report, which takes into consideration the proportion of people who are undernourished, the proportion of children younger than 5 who are underweight, and the mortality of children younger than 5.
Until that number turns to zero, there are still hungry children here. Doesn’t every child deserve a fighting chance from the day they are born, regardless of economic status, religion, or race?
Feed and Nourish Our Children
Undernutrition in children has been linked to poor mental development and school achievement. It can also have long-lasting effects like insulin resistance in adulthood, hypertension, as well as other impairments.
It’s important for kids to have three balanced meals everyday which pulls from each of the five food groups. The meals shouldn’t just fill your tummy, but be filled with nutrition. Lots of white rice with curry gravy just doesn’t cut it if you want a child to grow up strong and healthy. Sure, they’re not hungry, but are they properly nourished?
A well-nourished child has a better chance at avoiding illness like everyday colds, but in the long-term is also at a lower risk of contracting some cancers, osteoporosis, as well as other diseases (1).
What Can You Do?
There are many ways to help the Malaysian needy. You could of course donate money to local foundations, and even sign up as a volunteer at community kitchens. Or you could take it to a more personal level, and interact with the underprivileged. Whenever you pass by a beggar with kids on the street, don’t just give them money, instead, pack them all a hot meal filled with veggies and protein. Sometimes, a warm filling meal and a kind smile is all they’re looking for.
And the next time you’re feeling peckish for some good spicy Thai food, give Mango Chili at NEXUS Bangsar South a try.
For every scrumptious meal you eat there, Mango Chili will donate a nutritious meal to an underprivileged child.
It doesn’t hurt that Mango Chili is a Malaysian member of Bangkok’s renowned COCA F&B family, so you know your Thai cravings are in good hands.
How it All Started: Mango Chilli’s A Meal For A Meal Programme
Mango Chili’s owner Ronald Khoo first got inspired two years ago after meeting Dylan Wilk of Human Nature, who made him realise how big a role businesses can play in impacting the world. He then decided to apply this principle when kickstarting his own business.
“I decided to see if I could play a small role in trying to alleviate one of the pains of this world, which is hunger, and specifically child hunger. This became one of the core purposes in the business model of this company, committing us to helping the cause from the start,” said Khoo.
A newcomer in the food and beverage industry, Mango Chili first opened its doors to the public late February this year. Barely four months in and they have fed more than 10,000 meals to underprivileged children.
“We started this initiative by engaging with the Dignity for Children foundation, as they are a well-run foundation with good kitchen facilities. We contribute money to fund the kitchen so it can run smoothly.”
They are also in discussions with a second community where Mango Chili will create nutritious kids meal recipes for the cook and deliver fresh, raw ingredients to their kitchen several times a week. Mango Chili is also working on future projects, depending on the needs of the communities.
“Our vision is that one day we’ll be able to set up a central kitchen and pack and deliver balanced meals to kids daily,” Khoo explained.
While you’re at Mango Chili, don’t forget to try out their healthier dishes like their popular Green Mango Salad, Glass Noodle Salad, and Clear Chicken Soup Noodle!
Address: Mango Chili, NEXUS Bangsar South City, No. 7 Jalan Kerinchi, 59200 Kuala Lumpur.
Opening hours: 10am – 10pm
Contact: 03-2242 3737
What do you think of this initiative? Do you think more restaurants should start doing the same? Let us know your opinions in the comments below or on our Facebook page!