Jakarta (ANTARA) - Indonesia's Ministry of Social Affairs is seeking to foster social solidarity in the community through a food program for elderly singles and people living with disabilities.

"The quantitative value of this program is clear," Secretary of the Directorate General of Social Rehabilitation at the ministry Salahuddin Yahya said at the Salemba 28 Forum held here Friday.

The total budget is Rp1.2 trillion for 2023, but more broadly than that, the ministry wants to grow new value benefits. Du to the fact that the social capital of the community is growing, there are civil society initiatives, fostering interaction between neighbors and social solidarity, he said.

The second round of food assistance distribution for elderly singles and people living with disabilities will take place from July until December 2023 and involve community groups at the sub-district level, he informed.

It is expected to appeal to community morality and foster social awareness, he said.

A food budget of Rp30 thousand will be provided to the elderly and the disabled per day for two meals. This value can increase if the social sensitivity of the community grows, Yahya said.

“Imagine if someone goes all the way from Jakarta to feed them, even though you live beside them, this social sensitivity is what you want to grow, don't just look at Rp30 thousand for two days, it could turn into Rp100 thousand because values grow socially; cakes and fruit can be added by neighbors, you know; this is what we want to promote in an Indonesian atmosphere," he added.

In cities or districts that are already implementing a food program, the Ministry of Social Affairs will try to avoid duplication, he stressed.

Yahya further said that the social rehabilitation team for people living with disabilities and the elderly in the regions will ensure that the food aid reaches beneficiaries no matter the distance by inviting the closest elderly neighbors or assistance recipients to join in cooking meals.

"Outside Java, that's the approach; friends involve neighbors to be reached as community groups, so we can make sure they cook every day, just add more portions, so if the distance is too far, the neighbors will embrace them who cook every day, so they can cover the range of distances," he said.

Yahya assured that the food program will not only factor in ways how the food can reach the elderly or the disabled, but also build awareness, passion, and a spirit of solidarity in society, which can continue to grow every day.

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Translator: Lintang Budiyanti Prameswari, Cindy Frishanti Octa
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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