Canteen menu makeovers mean healthier fare for public transport workers

All 46 National Transport Workers' Union canteens will have the healthier meals, which include brown rice, assessed by the Health Promotion Board. PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO

SINGAPORE - Healthier meal options will be served at all 46 National Transport Workers' Union (NTWU) canteens from February.

The union will also embark on the second round of a campaign to encourage public transport staff to opt for meals with brown rice.

"We are mindful that many of our public transport workers are above the age of 50, and we need to do more to ensure that they take good care of their health," said NTWU executive secretary Melvin Yong.

The union's canteens, which serve more than 25,000 workers, will have the healthier meals assessed by the Health Promotion Board (HPB). Six canteens have been assessed so far.

"HPB's endorsement will help workers and even the public better identify the healthier meal options and make informed food choices," Mr Yong added. The new initiative was announced at Ulu Pandan Bus Depot on Wednesday (Oct 10).

The union, which started a Brown Rice Campaign in March, said it will organise a second round from this month with a $100,000 sponsorship from SBS Transit.

Part of the campaign involves rewarding SBS Transit staff with food vouchers if they choose brown rice meals. They will also get vouchers if they attend health coaching sessions organised by SBS Transit and the HPB. SBS Transit has about 10,500 staff.

"Bus captains and bus support staff spend hours on the job," said SBS Transit chief executive Gan Juay Kiat. "We feel that we need to provide a conducive environment for them to practise healthy living so that they can progressively form better lifelong habits to a healthier way of living."

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