Aiming to raise 180,000 meals

Her lunch would normally cost her $5, but on Friday she was happy to pay $40.

That's because Singapore Institute of Management student Quek Dai Tong, 19, was at Sarang Korean Bistro in Orchard Central to contribute to FoodLanthropy, a new initiative that aims to raise 180,000 meals for the less privileged in Singapore and the region.

For this month, the bistro is charging $40 for a Korean bento set and each set sold will pay for 25 meal packets.

On the price, Ms Quek said: "It's okay, it's for a good cause."

FoodLanthropy marks a new twist to Food Bank Singapore (FBS), a charity organisation that was set up by siblings Nichol Ng, 35, and Nicholas Ng, 34.

FBS collects excess food donated by farms, manufacturers, distributors, retail stores, consumers and other sources, and distributes it to the needy in Singapore through non-profit programmes.

The siblings hope that it will become a monthly dine-out series, where part of the proceeds will go to FBS to buy meal packets from Stop Hunger Now, an international organisation that coordinates the distribution of food to those in need around the world.

At least 1,200 bento sets have to be sold to pay for the 180,000 meals.

People can also pay in advance for a bento set at

They were not only encouraged to buy the sets but also to volunteer to help prepare meal packets on Friday.

Each packet, which contains dehydrated rice, soy, vegetables, flavouring and 21 essential vitamins and minerals, will serve six adults.

Half of the meal packets will be given to needy Singaporeans and the other half to refugees living near the Laos border in Thailand.

All 30,000 meal packets were prepared on Friday by about 150 volunteers in three hours, which surprised the organisers who had estimated the packing to take up to five hours.

"It goes to show that Singaporeans are a caring bunch and willing to help out in cash and kind for a good cause," said Ms Ng.

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