25,000kg of rice to be donated to the elderly and vulnerable in Joo Chiat

Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Edwin Tong (centre) receiving the donation of 25,000kg of rice from Mr Lee Yik Hun (left) of DFI Retail Group and Mr Luke Siew of UOB. PHOTO: GIANT SINGAPORE

SINGAPORE - Seniors, mosques and churches in Joo Chiat received 25,000kg of rice on Friday as part of a campaign to provide one million meals to the less fortunate in Singapore in two years.

The 5,000 bags of 5kg Meadows Thai Fragrant Rice were distributed by DFI Retail Group, which operates supermarkets like Giant and Cold Storage, and United Overseas Bank (UOB) as part of DFI’s Have You Eaten? project.

The campaign, which began in August last year, is a tie-up with non-profit The Food Bank Singapore to reduce hunger and increase food security for the less fortunate.

The rice, equivalent to 62,500 meals, will be donated to the elderly and vulnerable in the Joo Chiat community.

Attending the distribution event at the Siglap South Community Centre on Friday evening, Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Edwin Tong said that food is a key aspect of Singapore’s festive celebrations, and rice is central to the local diet.

“From nasi briyani to nasi lemak, from rice at tuan yuan fan (Chinese New Year reunion dinner) to rice we pair with curry debal (devil’s curry), rice is about as Singaporean as you can get,” he said.

“But yet, there are some in our society who, for various reasons, might find it difficult to put rice on the table as often as they like,” he said, adding that initiatives like DFI’s are important to providing community support to the less fortunate.

Ten cents from every 1kg of Meadows rice bought from any Giant, Cold Storage and CS Fresh store in Singapore will go towards purchasing the same brand at cost price, which will go to The Food Bank Singapore’s beneficiaries.

Mr Lee Yik Hun, DFI’s South-east Asia marketing director for food and own brand, who attended the distribution alongside Mr Luke Siew, UOB’s first vice-president for cards and payments, personal financial services, said that the project aims to strengthen food security in Singapore. 

He said: “With rice as a staple in the Singapore diet, we often take that one bowl or plate of rice for granted. We hope to raise awareness that there are still many among us in Singapore who may sometimes struggle to put food on the table.”

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