Hunger in a land filled with food and foodies affects a disproportionately large number of people in Singapore. By S. Sakthivel
For all the focus on the abundance of food in Singapore, here is an alarming statistic on hunger.
Some 105,000 HDB households find themselves getting by on less than $1,500 per month, and experiencing food insecurity.
A study commissioned by local non-profit charity, Food From the Heart (FFTH) showed that poor families and elderly couples past the working age find themselves most vulnerable to food insecurity — they are only able to afford low-cost, low-nutrition food, they skip meals, or, sometimes, don’t get to eat at all.
The report put together by the Centre for Culture-centred Approach to Research and Evaluation (CARE) and Bain & Company, also showed that there are very few organisations addressing the plight of the hungry.
Feeding The Needy
FFTH has been operating since 2003, supplementing the food needs of those subsisting on very low incomes. But the study found that they were only able to serve 5% of Singapore’s needy.
FFTH redistributes food to those in dire need of it, rather than letting it go to waste. By collecting bread, fruit, vegetables and canned food that is close to expiry FFTH distributes $4.8 million worth of food annually to 25,000 people. FFTH also supports 40 welfare homes and halfway houses by providing them with food, as part of its Market Place programme. Additionally, its School Goodie Bag programme provides food for some 5,600 beneficiaries.
Is any place where people go hungry truly a ‘food paradise’?
Food, water, clothing, and shelter remain the basic needs for human life and Singapore may be lagging behind in providing these to those on the fringes of society.
On World Food Day (October 16), let your hunger prick your conscience. You can take the first step towards helping alleviate others’ hunger by clicking this link: https://foodheart.org/donate