Food bank will accept CNY treats for the needy

With so much Chinese New Year (CNY) goodies at home, she was wondering how she and her family would finish them.

Throwing them away would be so wasteful.

Then, Ms Dorothy Lai, 40, an administrative assistant , saw a Facebook post about donating unwanted CNY snacks to be distributed to needy families.

She donated two boxes of CNY cookies from a hamper as she had too many at home.

Thanks to generous donors like her, nearly 1,000 tins and tubs of foodstuff have been collected so far.

CNY ends on March 5 and by now, most would have had their fill of festive snacks.

So what do you do with all that unopened containers of goodies?

The Food Bank Singapore, a non-profit organisation that encourages people to donate their unwanted food, has been asking the public to share their unopened containers of CNY tidbits since early this month.

The Food Bank Singapore was founded in 2012 by siblings Nichol, 36, and Nicholas Ng, 35. They also run a food distribution business together.

The food will be collected and allocated to the needy via various channels such as charities. It distributes food to 137 beneficiary organisations, which include The Singapore Red Cross, The Salvation Army and various child care centres and nursing homes.

Ms Edlin Hu, 27, a medical social worker at Agape Methodist Hospice, one of the 137 beneficiaries, said: "I think it's a really meaningful project, especially for the elderly who live alone.

Many of them do not have close ties with their family members, and spend Chinese New Year alone."


The hospice's full-time workers conduct frequent home visits to the needy elderly in Singapore, providing medical and nursing care and bringing them donated food items.

"The Chinese New Year goodies will definitely lift the spirits of the elderly. They'll feel loved and cared for in a tangible way," Ms Hu added.

The Muhammadiyah Welfare Home is a children's home for boys aged 10 to 19 and has been a been a beneficiary since early 2014.

Ms Syiqin Salam, 33 , its corporate communications and resource officer, said: "It (The Food Bank Singapore) actually goes the extra mile to indicate whether the food is halal or not for us. We're really thankful."

This is the first time The Food Bank Singapore is organising a donation drive for excess CNY treats.

Ms Nichol Ng said: "We realise that during the festive season, a lot of excess food ends up lying around.

"A lot of this food is also freshly made so it usually has a shorter shelf-life."

She said it will only accept unopened and unexpired food.

Depending on the success of the donation drive, it might hold another one for Hari Raya and Christmas.

The goodies that have been collected so far include biscuits, cookies and pineapple tarts.

Ms Ng said each beneficiary family will receive one tin of goodies. The first batch of donations was distributed before CNY and it plans to distribute the second batch by next week.

Said Ms Ng: "Instead of throwing it, why not donate the food? We hope to get more so that we can share the festive mood with more people."

Those who wish to donate can do so either at The Food Bank Singapore Warehouse at 39 Keppel Road #01-02/04, Tanjong Pagar Distripark or at donation boxes located at Quayside Isle shopping mall in Sentosa Cove and City Square Mall daily.

This article was first published on Feb 27, 2015.
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