1,300 low-income families to get monthly fresh produce under Prudential nutrition programme

Prudential employee Ariel Ong (centre) assembling a care pack with her colleagues, prior to phase two (heightened alert) measures.
Prudential employee Ariel Ong (centre) assembling a care pack with her colleagues, prior to phase two (heightened alert) measures.PHOTO: PRUDENTIAL

SINGAPORE - About 1,300 low-income families will be receiving fresh produce such as spinach, corn and pumpkin monthly by the end of the year as part of an extension of insurer Prudential's nutrition programme.

The Healthy with KidStart programme, which was launched last year, is back this time with weekly food drops and resources on healthy eating such as a recipe card curated by an accredited nutritionist, and online workshops.

The deliveries began in mid-May and will last till the end of the year. At least 200 families will receive the packs in June, and the number will be ramped up each month.

The total number of families that will benefit is up by 500 from last year's 800.

These families are under the KidStart programme, which provides child development, health and social support for low-income families with children below the age of seven.

KidStart Singapore, formerly under the Early Childhood Development Agency, is now a public company limited by guarantee.

The initiative Healthy with KidStart, is a collaboration between Prudential Singapore and KidStart Singapore.

Prudential is one of the community partners that KidStart Singapore works with to provide additional support for KidStart families under the Growing Together with KidStart initiative.

Ms Nadia Nabiha Dudy Widjaya, 29, a mother of four children and a beneficiary of the KidStart programme, is looking forward to receiving the fresh food packs this year. The family was part of the nutrition programme last year too.

"The fresh food received helped my family to save on our daily expenses, which in turn allowed us to spend more on other urgent needs such as medical bills and transport," said Ms Nadia.

She added that her children loved the carrots, cabbage, potatoes and fruits included in the pack.

The packs also include a "Healthy Plate", which is a plate with partitions that indicate the recommended proportions of each major food group in an ideal meal.

A total of 2,000 plates will be distributed by the end of the year, with each child in the programme receiving a plate, said Prudential.

KidStart Singapore's chief executive officer, Madam Rahayu Buang, said many families have enjoyed the healthy food items and the useful tips shared to create tasty and nutritious meals under this initiative.

"Some were even introduced to new types of fruits and vegetables that their young children now enjoy," she added.

Under the initiative, Prudential employees are involved in the packing and distribution of the food packs.

Ms Ariel Ong, 46, head of mass segment at Prudential's customer division, helped to pack the food items before the phase two (heightened alert) measures kicked in.

"As a mother of two growing children, I know the importance and the challenges of putting healthy food on the table every day. I hope the parents of the beneficiaries feel more encouraged to cultivate healthier eating habits in their families," she said.

Prudential Singapore chief executive Dennis Tan said: “By driving greater awareness around the importance of early childhood nutrition and healthy eating, we can help bridge the ‘health gap’ in our community.”