April 3, 2020 – The double whammy of a lack of volunteer involvement coupled with a drop in donations due to the novel coronavirus pandemic have impacted charities in their ability to provide food and meals to those in need. Against this backdrop, The Food Bank Singapore (FBSG) today launched Feed the City (Take-Away Edition) to deliver 50,000 meals to needy families.
As a community effort, the programme involves donors that pay for the meals, food and beverage (F&B) partners to provide cooked meals at special rates, and volunteers to distribute the meals to various households island-wide.
“FBSG is committed to take on the crucial role during such uncertain times to continuously provide food to vulnerable communities and remain fully operational to ensure no one gets left behind. We are issuing a rallying call to sponsors and F&B outlets to come on board Feed the City (Take-Away Edition),” said Nichol Ng, Co-founder of FBSG.
Through this programme, FBSG is building a tripartite model involving donors, F&B outlets and charities in dealing with the social and economic impact caused by COVID-19. It hopes to give F&B retailers that are badly hit a fighting chance of surviving this, while giving the underprivileged an opportunity to enjoy meals that are otherwise inaccessible to them.
“Many of the underprivileged are the ones who are likely on hourly wages and may be also the first to be let go when circumstances take a turn for the worse. We also want to do a shout out to charities that have the funds to cook meals but are lacking in volunteers at this point to look at supporting their local F&B establishments instead. By supporting F&B retailers, we hope to join the COVID-19 fight on all fronts,” said Ng.
Geneco and Grain Singapore joins the fight
First to come on board as a donor is Geneco, brand of YTL PowerSeraya (Singapore’s second largest power generation company), with a pledge of 1,000 meals. The leading electricity retailer this week launched a social media campaign on Facebook and Instagram to encourage individuals to share the post and tag a friend. For every share and tag, Geneco will donate a meal. FBSG is also a partner of Geneco’s ChangeMakersSG initiative, which brings together like-minded organisations who share Geneco’s vision to build a sustainable future.
“Geneco strongly believes in powering the change for the community and we are glad to be able to support FBSG. The small simple act of an individual can make a big difference and go a long way to help the less unfortunate, which in essence is why we started our ChangeMakersSG. Hence, we would like to rally Singaporeans to stay united as one and hope everyone can contribute by donating to FBSG,” said Alex Chan, Head of Marketing at Geneco.
Online caterer Grain, the first F&B partner under the programme, has pledged to
provide nutritious meals at a special rate.
“While this is an intensely stressful time with a lot of uncertainty, there are also a lot of opportunities for us to support and be kind to one another. At Grain, apart from adapting our business to prioritise the well-being of our customers and our team, we realise there is a role we can play in supporting our food rescue partners and healthcare heroes in these challenging times. Now more than ever, we can all appreciate just how connected we are, and the importance of coming together to protect our community in times of great need. With support from the Singapore government, as well as timely initiatives such as Feed the City, we are confident that we will get through these difficult times together,” said Shawn Liam, Director of Grain.
Meals for senior citizens and needy families
The meals will be distributed by FBSG’s volunteers to senior citizens from FBSG’s beneficiary centres that are facing challenges providing food and meals to their clients.
The initial target group are from Senior Activity Centres that are currently closed for activities, leaving seniors to stay home with limited interaction. Another group are families affected by job losses and no-pay leave from this pandemic.
“Feed the City (Take-Away Edition) is expected to last for two months or until the COVID-19 situation improves and the DORSCON level goes back to Green. With this in mind, we are looking for more donors and partners to join us in this community effort to feed the hungry. We welcome different types of F&B players — from cooked meals to confectionaries – to partner with us. Our message to everyone in Singapore is ‘Support your local eatery today’,” said Ng.