To supplement the $250 allowance that she gets from her son, one elderly woman in the northern part of Singapore has started her own business.
With a basket full of raw chicken legs, the woman, who is in her 80s, sells the poultry from her bicycle five days a week, reported 8world last Saturday (Feb 25).
Speaking to a reporter from the Chinese media outlet, the elderly woman, who declined to be named, said she receives an allowance from only one of her sons.
"I have many children, but some of them aren't working so they don't give me any money," she said.
Divulging more details about her 'business', she said that she managed to get the contact of a chicken supplier as she used to work as a cleaner at a poultry farm.
"My chickens come directly from a supplier; they sell out quite quickly. Sometimes I even need to pre-order the kampung chickens [from the supplier]."
In case her customers have any doubts about the origins of her stock, she keeps her supplier’s name card in her purse to show them.
When asked about the price of the poultry, the elderly woman shared that a bag of kampung chicken drumsticks costs between $13 and $17, and a bag of regular chicken drumsticks costs $12.
"Actually I don't earn much, because no one will buy from me if I overcharge. I only earn one or two dollars per bag," she said.
In light of her situation, some good Samaritans have also previously offered to help her apply for financial assistance — a gesture which she refused.
"Earning some extra money from selling chicken is enough, I don't need help," the elderly woman maintained.
She has even earned herself some regular customers, some of whom travel all the way from Hougang and Ang Mo Kio just to buy from her.
However, she has had to avoid going to the same spot for fear of getting caught by the authorities.
Poultry seller in area says business has been affected
8world also spoke to a poultry seller at the nearby wet market, who says he's aware of the elderly lady's makeshift stall.
However, he has yet to confront the elderly lady.
Huang, 43, said: "We haven't said anything to her and we don't want to disturb her, as she may be doing it to earn some extra cash."
He also revealed that he and the elderly lady both sell chicken drumsticks at similar prices — ranging from $12 to $15 a bag.
"Some customers may buy from her out of sympathy, which means they won't patronise my stall. Now that the Dorscon level is back to green, more people might choose to eat out, and that also affects my business."
Under the Environmental Public Health Act, the hawking of food or other types of goods without a licence issued by the Singapore Food Agency (SFA) is not permitted.
AsiaOne has reached out to the SFA for more information.
Maids hawking food outside PLQ mall
In July last year, some domestic helpers were seen hawking food near Paya Lebar MRT station on their off days.
When a reporter from Shin Min Daily News visited the area, they spotted a maid standing at an open area near Paya Lebar MRT Station, carrying a backpack and an eco tote bag and taking out boxes of food for customers to pick.
Speaking to the Chinese daily, one of them shared that she was actually helping her friend sell food and would take commissions from the sales.
"After my friend cooks the food, I will pick it up from Sengkang MRT and come to Paya Lebar to sell it. I sell traditional Indonesian snacks and food, ranging from 50 cents to $1 per lunch box," she explained.