SINGAPORE - First, it was groceries such as canned food and biscuits. Now, charity organisation Food from the Heart is giving fresh local farm produce to low-income families in Boon Lay.
It will partner grocery store The Local Farm by Gardenasia to serve 1,000 households when the new initiative is rolled out in January.
These households currently can redeem grocery staples using a beneficiary card at Food from the Heart's minimart Community Shop @ Boon Lay.
With this tie-up, residents will have access to nutritious and fresh produce, said Ms Sim Bee Hia, Food from the Heart's chief executive, at the launch at Block 176 Boon Lay Drive where the minimart is located.
"As a food charity, we act as a buffer to the community in need and Covid-19 has reinforced the important difference food charities make," she added.
"Ordering local would also mean food support is not disrupted or affected by border closures or supply chain bottlenecks."
Food prices have been on the rise amid supply chain disruptions which have led to perishable items going to waste. Suppliers have also adjusted prices to factor in rising energy costs.
Food from the Heart's new initiative aims to serve another 1,000 households by June 2022. To do so, it aims to raise $250,000.
Beneficiaries can select 12 items a month. From January, this will include fresh produce such as eggs, mushrooms and leafy vegetables, as well as staples such as rice and cooking oil.
The fresh produce is supplied by four farms - N & N Agriculture, Lian Wah Hang Farm, Yili Farm and Kin Yan Agrotech. It is then aggregated and curated by Gardenasia, a horticultural entertainment company, and delivered to Food from the Heart's minimart.
Mr Kenny Eng, director of Gardenasia, said: "This partnership is a boost to local farmers in terms of sustainable farming. Knowing that there is a demand over a longer term means farmers can farm with a better sense of security."
Retired crane operator Chew Chiang Tong, 86, is among 15 beneficiaries invited to select vegetables and eggs on Wednesday before the initiative kicks off in January.
Accompanied by his wife, he said they are already saving a lot of money every month because of the free groceries. Lauding the expansion to fresh produce, he said: "Vegetables are good - you can make soup, fry, steam - there are many ways to cook them. They are also easier to digest, which is important because we are older."
Members of the public can donate at this website.