Initiatives in place to boost healthy living

Customers eating at a hawker centre in Singapore.
Customers eating at a hawker centre in Singapore.PHOTO: ST FILE

We agree with Mr Cheng Choon Fei on the importance of encouraging families to adopt healthy diets (Help poor families make better food choices, May 1).

The Health Promotion Board's (HPB) programmes aim to be inclusive to ensure that healthy living is within reach of all Singaporeans.

Singaporeans can choose healthier options when they dine at hawker centres and foodcourts, through the Healthier Dining Programme identifiers, and when they purchase healthier groceries with the Healthier Choice Symbol.

The Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) provides mainly cash assistance to ComCare beneficiaries for their daily living expenses, which could include food, transport and other expenses. Providing assistance in cash gives the most flexibility to families based on their needs and circumstances.

In instances where assistance is given in the form of vouchers, for example, interim assistance for families that need urgent help, we provide supermarket vouchers that cannot be used to purchase cigarettes and alcohol.

MSF and HPB will continue to explore ways to encourage low-income and vulnerable families to make healthy food choices.

Shyamala Thilagaratnam (Dr)

Group Director, Outreach

Health Promotion Board

Kong Kum Peck

Director, ComCare and Social Support Division

Ministry of Social and Family Development

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 15, 2019, with the headline 'Initiatives in place to boost healthy living'. Print Edition | Subscribe