2,400 Marine Parade households received food donations

SINGAPORE - Rental blocks at Marine Parade GRC were a hive of activity on Sunday (Jan 15) as 700 volunteers distributed food to needy households and helped with spring cleaning.

About 2,400 households received a basic food pack comprising items such as biscuits, Milo, rice and canned food. Three "marketplaces" were also set up at the foot of blocks in Chai Chee so residents there could select additional items such as fresh fruits.

All the food were earlier collected as donations.

This was part of the annual One Community Day which started in 2011 with just 151 volunteers distributing rice in Chai Chee, Marine Parade, Geylang Serai and Braddell Heights.

Another segment of the event is the cleaning of 52 homes occupied by elderly residents or residents with physically challenges.

Volunteers cleaned the homes, repainted walls and helped throw unwanted furniture and items.

The 700 volunteers included residents, grassroots leaders and students. This year, 25 students with intellectual disabilities from Minds Towner Garden School also joined in the activities, helping to pack food for residents at one of the marketplaces.

Joining the volunteers were Minister for Social and Family Development Tan Chuan-Jin, Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong, and MPs (Marine Parade GRC) Fatima Lateef, Mr Seah Kian Peng and Mr Edwin Tong.

Retiree Lim Kay Boo, 60, who came down to pick an assortment of instant drinks and biscuits for himself and his wife, said he liked this marketplace idea.

"In the past, they used to pick the items for us but there are some things there that we don't use," he said in Mandarin.