New social service office opens in Yishun and launches free shopping programme for needy

Madam Lim Yan Fong, 71, one of the beneficiaries of the project.
Madam Lim Yan Fong, 71, one of the beneficiaries of the project. ST PHOTO: TIFFANY FUMIKO TAY

SINGAPORE - A new social service office (SSO) opened in Yishun on Friday with the launch of a pilot project for the needy to get free provisions.

Under the Dignity Shopping project, 10 selected individuals and families will be able to pick out groceries and household items at the Yishun Christian Church (Anglican) every month, from September this year.

The project is jointly carried out by the SSO, Metropolitan YMCA and the church. It is an extension of the Metropolitan YMCA's longrunning MY Manna Provisions with a Mission project, which distributes groceries to needy families. 

The 20th social service office, located at Block 746, Yishun Street 72, was officially opened by Minister for Social and Family Development Tan Chuan-Jin. It has been in operation since March this year, and serves more than 1,800 residents in the area. 

Also in attendance were Nee Soon GRC MPs K. Shanmugam, who is also Law and Foreign Affairs Minister, Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim, Lee Bee Wah and Patrick Tay, as well asNorth West District Mayor Teo Ho Pin. 

Metropolitan YMCA's community services manager Francis Foo said that although the organisation is a Christian one, the programme is open to people of all religions.

The Christian group will supply the groceries to the nearby church, where those referred by the SSO will be able to select items on a need-based budget. Singles receive $50 worth of provisions a month, while couples receive $60 worth and families get $70 to $100 worth. Each party is also given a package of fresh produce. 

Madam Lim Yan Fong, 71, one of the beneficiaries of the project, was referred by the SSO and will be given $50 a month to shop with. 

She said: "This will help a lot. I live 10 minutes from here, so I can just walk over and get groceries. It's very convenient."

tiffanyt@sph.com.sg