No variety due to restrictions on value meals

I refer to NTUC Enterprise Cooperative's letter, which stated that the organisation aims "to ensure that everybody has access to affordable, quality goods and services" (Acquisition plan is to help make affordable food more widely available; Oct 6).

This is a very noble statement. However, I would like to draw its attention to the fact that at the operational level, this sounds like an empty slogan.

When Rice Garden was set up, senior citizens and NTUC union members could buy a $2 meal that included two vegetables and one meat item. My non-vegetarian choice was normally sardine.

However, now the same $2 meal is restricted to two vegetables and pork, stewed chicken or curry chicken.

There is no variety in our meals with such a restriction.

I know of commercial operators selling three items without any constraints on what customers can choose from the menu. If they can operate profitably, I don't see why Rice Garden cannot do so. I thought being a social enterprise implied that the main objective is not to make substantial profits.

Lee Chee Meng

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 11, 2018, with the headline 'No variety due to restrictions on value meals'. Print Edition | Subscribe