MakanLah – Canteen Food: The Healthy Way

Focus Area

Healthcare & Nutrition

Short Description

Our project, “Canteen Food: The Healthy Way”, addresses the crisis of childhood obesity in Malaysia. Our aim is to improve the nutritional value of canteen food by involving the whole community (students, schools, teachers, parents and school canteens). We tackle challenges which inhibit canteens from providing healthier options and stimulate demand and awareness amongst students. Our desired impact is that 1) children consume delicious, healthy food at school, and 2) canteens find it profitable to serve a healthier menu. Over the longer term we hope to create a more productive Malaysia.

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Voting end : 30.06.2018

The Project

Project Owner

Putri Irina Sofia Binti Mohamad for MakanLahSE Sdn. Bhd.


Kuala Lumpur


Malaysia faces a growing crisis of child obesity, where we are ranked #1 in Southeast Asia, and #6 in Asia Pacific. One in every four children are either overweight or obese, roughly 25% do not eat breakfast and more than 90% of Malaysian children are not eating their daily required intake of vegetables. Poor nutrition then negatively impacts the child’s health, learning and productivity.


Our program focuses on multiple pillars and stakeholders. We primarily target school canteens, who have been targeted as the problem, rather than part of the solution. Our value proposition to the canteens is called Canteen-in-a-Box.

1) We co-create a standard healthy menu with canteens that is within budget for the students and still delicious. We revamp traditional dishes like nasi lemak, while introducing new items such as chicken tofu kebabs.

2) We train canteens to prepare healthier food, new cooking techniques, and analyse ways to improve their operational efficiencies. Our workshop provides a platform for canteens to come together and share their experiences and strategize with their peers.

3) We work with supermarkets and wholesalers to supply a core basket of ingredients at a lower cost.

4) We involve students throughout the process in nutrition education, taste test, surveys.

5) We engage all critical stakeholders such as Ministries of Health and Education, parents, schools, private sector collaborators, and address external challenges such as illegal junk food vendors.

We hope to raise funds through the Actyvate platform to sponsor kitchen equipment necessary for the school canteens to provide a heathier menu. An oven, for example, allows canteen operators to bake chicken instead of deep frying in low-quality oil.

Target Beneficiary

Our project targets children in Sekolah Kebangsaan public/government schools in lower income areas where students have less choice and the food options are less healthy. It is also easier to change eating and spending habits at a young age. We are presently working in 6 low income areas/schools in Klang. Students will benefit through have access to healthy, affordable options at school. The canteen operators benefit from enhanced business acumen and efficiency.

Impact Parameters

We use both short-term and medium to long-term KPIs. These include: improvement in nutritional value of the menu; demand and behaviour change in students, teachers and parents; operational efficiency gains for the school canteens; profit margins. A more detailed outline is included in our pitch deck attached.

Project Endorsement


MakanLahSE Sdn. Bhd. has collaborators and funders. In terms of funding,

1) 2018: MCII Collaboration Challenge. In October 2017, we won a collaborative challenge hosted by the Malaysia Collective Impact Initiative to carry out our program in six schools in Klang. Our funders are: IOI Group, Hap Seng Group, Anyaman Preschool, Michael Octoman, Datin Kathleen Chew, YTL Foundation, Lau Gek Poh Foundation and Dr. Melissa Foo.

2) 2017: Mondelez International. Mondelez International adopts schools under their JoySchool program. They partnered with MakanaLah to deliver nutrition education and awareness programs and to train the canteens in developing and preparing a healthier breakfast menu in these schools.

3) 2016: MaGIC. We were one of the five recipients of the 2014 Amplify MaGIC Awards for social enterprises.

In terms of partners, our key collaborative partners are: 1) Agak Agak Inititive: AA+ is a social enterprise that specializes in F&B training. They work with us to provide the training for our canteen operators. 2) UCSI: We have a certified nutritionist that runs the Nutrition Assembly with the students, and focuses on food choices and a balanced diet.

Project Needs

Type of help needed


Project Cost


Describe Needs

Cost for project as below:

DescriptionPrice/Unit (RM)QuantityAmount (RM)
 Industrial Oven3,500621,000
Blender/Food Processor1,3006 7,800
Freezer1,4006 8,400
Total cost37200
  • The funds would be used to sponsor key equipment for the schools i.e. an oven, a food processor and additional freezer space. The equipment will be utilised to improve the way that canteen operators prepare food and increase overall efficiency. We budget roughly RM6,200 per school as calculated above.
  • Assuming roughly RM6,200 per school, this would be a total cost of RM37,200 for six schools.


We are targeting to complete our project in the six current schools within the school year (Dec 2018). Through the Actyvate platform we are seeking funding for equipment (e.g. ovens) for each of the schools. Date of delivery for equipment: no later than October 2018.

Voting start date: 21/06/2018

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