SINGAPORE: Having corporate players and community organisations help the less fortunate is one way of creating an inclusive society, said Minister for Trade & Industry, Lim Hng Kiang, at the launch of Food Connect @ South West.
The Food Connect programme sees corporate partners pledging funds for monthly food rations for low—income households.
It is an uphill task making ends meet for Suriya Devi, who is a home—maker and single mother supporting two children.
The 52—year—old relies on kind neighbours and financial assistance from the South West Community Development Council (CDC).
She has also been put on the new Food Connect programme.
Mdm Suriya’s family is one of some 550 households which will receive monthly food rations worth S$50 over the next two years.
The food rations will come from some S$600,000 pledged by five trade associations and 25 small and medium enterprises.
"It means many helping hands, it means the government providing a resilient social safety net, but also other people coming in — corporate players, community organisations, grassroots leaders as well as individuals, all pitching in to help out," said Mr Lim.
Mayor for South West CDC, Dr Amy Khor said it was no challenge getting corporate organisations to come on board the programme.
This is indicative of the increase in partners since the programme’s inception in 2010. The initial programme had 22 partners, and saw some S$190,000 being raised for 320 households.
These households received monthly rations for one year.
Even as beneficiaries start receiving food packages over the next two years, the focus is on cultivating healthy eating habits. Most of the food products have been tagged ’healthier choice’ items.
Dr Khor said: "We felt that as part of the expansion plan, it will be good to also encourage our needy families to lead a more healthy lifestyle, (and) to have a healthy diet."
The programme will also provide families with free health screening and talks from June.
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