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"Chope" food for the needy with new voucher scheme

Published on Dec 19, 2013 6:33 PM
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Rice Garden stall at Aljunied Market and Food Centre where dishes are sold for $1.99. This is a social enterprise offered by NTUC Foodfare to help low-income Singaporeans weather tough economic times. -- ST FILE PHOTO: NURIA LING

Those who want to "chope" or reserve food for the needy will have a new avenue to do so by the end of this month.

NTUC Foodfare's Rice Garden stalls in eight hawker centres here, which sell subsidised meals to those on public assistance, will sell vouchers for these meals to members of the public and corporate donors from Dec 30.

Mr Ronz Chan, senior operations manager for Rice Garden, said the voucher scheme started because stalls had to turn down those who wanted to "chope" food for the needy by paying for them in advance, and also found that social welfare organisations like Meals on Wheels had been buying meal packets in bulk for beneficiaries.

Donors pay $1.99 for each voucher - the price of a subsidised Rice Garden meal - while corporate sponsors can buy the vouchers in bulk through Foodfare's corporate office and website. Individual donors can give out the vouchers themselves, or contact a charity or social welfare group near the stall to give the vouchers to local beneficiaries. The first Rice Garden stall was opened in Aljunied in 2009, and the NTUC Foodfare co-operative aims to open more than 100 stalls in hawker centres here by 2015.