Shop in Mountbatten gives needy households their preferred food items

Minister for Social and Family Development Desmond Lee (red shirt) and Mountbatten SMC MP Lim Biow Chuan (blue shirt) at the opening of the Community Shop@Mountbatten. (PHOTO: OCBC)

SINGAPORE — Charity organisation Food from the Heart (FFTH) launched a community store at Mountbatten on Saturday (8 February) which will enable nearby needy households to obtain preferred food items, instead of standard donation packages which may include items they do not require.

The aim of the Community Shop@Mountbatten store at Old Airport Road, the first of its kind in Singapore, is to help minimise the stockpiling of unwanted food items, thus reducing food wastage.

The households that will benefit from this initiative would include those from Mountbatten and MacPherson SMCs, as well as Marine Parade GRC.

These beneficiaries can choose up to 12 items a month from the store, and “bag out” their selections via scanning their beneficiary cards at the store counter, which is manned by FFTH volunteers.

These items can be taken on multiple visits to lighten the load, especially for senior citizens. Beneficiaries are also encouraged to take only what they need, when they need them, in order to reduce food wastage.

Through this system, the charity staff can also analyse the data of the beneficiaries food consumption, enabling them to replenish high-demand food to avoid mismatches of food donation.

They can also know if the beneficiaries are making right food choices, and alert caregivers if dietary habits need to be changed.

Minister for Social and Family Development Desmond Lee, together with Mountbatten SMC Member of Parliament Lim Biow Chuan, attended the store’s opening ceremony on Saturday.

OCBC Bank, which has close to 600 staff volunteers supporting FFTH since 2017, also announced that it will contribute $300,000 and volunteer support for the community shop.

The $300,000 donation over five years will fund the shop’s setup, operations and food supplies. OCBC staff will volunteer at the shop if the charity organisation needs additional manpower.

“Over the years, FFTH’s efforts to uplift food security levels in Singapore has evolved to become more meaningful and relevant. We are glad to be able to support them in their journey,” said Koh Ching Ching, OCBC’s head of group brand and communications.

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