Footballers score one for food charity

Home United FC player Sufianto Salleh helping to distribute packets of food to the elderly in Boon Lay Drive yesterday. The team players were acting in partnership with charity Free Food For All, which distributes halal meals to the elderly and under
Home United FC player Sufianto Salleh helping to distribute packets of food to the elderly in Boon Lay Drive yesterday. The team players were acting in partnership with charity Free Food For All, which distributes halal meals to the elderly and underprivileged.ST PHOTO: DESMOND FOO

Players from S-League football club Home United stepped off the pitch to help distribute 430 free halal meals to elderly residents of Boon Lay Drive yesterday.

They were acting in partnership with charity Free Food For All (FFFA), which was founded two years ago by Mr Nizar Mohd Shariff.

"We are aiming to distribute 150,000 free meals to our beneficiaries this year, double that of last year," he told The Straits Times.

Mr Nizar runs the charity full-time and cooks meals to distribute in the Boon Lay neighbourhood himself, in addition to a contracted kitchen that helps to supply food for other estates.

The 46-year-old launched a daily dinner programme this month, and together with volunteers distributes food packets to the elderly and underprivileged in different neighbourhoods. Going by the cost of $2 a meal, the charity needs to raise $300,000 this year.

Mr Nizar, who bears much of the cost, said that his wife, who works as a nurse manager at KK Women's and Children's Hospital, has had to share the financial burden.

"I wanted to reach out to the elderly who, unlike others who are underprivileged, may not be able to walk to the CDC (Community Development Council) and say 'I need help'," he said.

While looking into charities that distribute free food to the needy, he realised that there were few organisations that provided halal food. So he started one himself.

"When I give out food, they also want to talk to me, to tell me their stories. It brings the community closer," he said, adding that he welcomes any donations.

Donations can be made online at giving.sg and at FFFA's fund-raising booth at Geylang Serai Market on April 2.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 26, 2016, with the headline 'Footballers score one for food charity'. Print Edition | Subscribe