Feed the City 3.0 lets the hungry eat what and when they want
FBSG’s latest initiative also aims to create new revenue stream for hawkers and other F&B outlets
September 17, 2021 – The Food Bank Singapore (FBSG) today launches the Feed the City 3.0 initiative to feed people in need in Singapore by letting them buy food from their preferred hawker and food and beverage (F&B) outlets and eat at their preferred time.
This reinvention is in response to FBSG’s findings on distribution of fixed types of food at fixed times. It is about giving choices as feeding the hungry should not be about having a one-size-fits-all approach.
“FBSG has been continuously keeping our ears on the ground to better understand the needs of the hungry. We learnt that people prefer cooked food, want to choose their own food, and want to eat at their own time. With the lack of feeding programmes that meet such needs, we decided to change the way we feed Singapore,” said Nichol Ng, Co-founder of FBSG. “The move will free volunteers from cooking and delivering door to door to focus on being ambassadors of the food banking movement and getting more F&B partners and donors to come on board.”
The initiative is an extension of the organisation’s Bank Card programme, which lets the needy purchase dry food items from its vending machines under its The Food Pantry 2.0 programme. FBSG is expanding the programme to all its beneficiary organisations and reaching out to community development councils (CDCs) to ensure that the ground is covered and those in need are fed.
First on board as a F&B partner is Fei Siong Group, which operates food stalls in coffee shops, food kiosks, quick serve restaurants and food atriums across 19 brands including Nam Kee Pau and Boleh Boleh.
“We are heartened to be able to support the beneficiaries via this initiative. With our extensive range of food selection across both halal and non-halal brands from more than 150 outlets island-wide, we hope that beneficiaries can redeem and enjoy a meal of their choice in a location easily accessible to them,” said Tan Kim Siong, Founder and Managing Director of Fei Siong Group. The group will progressively roll out this initiative across its brands, starting with Encik Tan in September.
Feeding the hungry, helping food vendors
Under the scheme, a beneficiary orders a meal from a participating F&B outlet and pays with the Bank Card. The vendor will scan the Bank Card using the app on the smartphone. The amount will be deducted from the card and the data will be sent to FBSG to reimburse the vendor.
“The meals will be charged at regular and not subsidised price as we understand that hawkers and F&B outlets are also going through a challenging time. Feed the City 3.0 aims to provide them with an additional revenue stream, helping them to save their livelihood. Some outlets are giving us a little discount to help defray the operational cost. We hope at least 20 other F&B groups and food chains, as well as hawkers will sign up for the programme by the year end. We are also appealing for more to donate cash and join us in feeding the hungry,” said Ng.
Feed the City was first organised in 2019 where 1,000 people in need from FBSG’s beneficiary members were treated to a meal at City Square Mall. When COVID-19 struck last year, the event was called Feed the City (Take-Away Edition), which involved delivering about one million meals to needy families.