OCBC Bank serves up festive meal to more than 250 people on seventh day of CNY

The dishes were prepared and cooked by three women under the Beyond Social Services' Project Masak-lah! programme. PHOTO: OCBC BANK

SINGAPORE - More than 250 people from 65 families were served a festive meal by staff volunteers from OCBC Bank on Monday (Feb 7), which marks the seventh day of Chinese New Year.

The seventh day is also known as "ren ri". It literally translates to "human day" and is considered to be everyone's birthday.

The meals, which consisted of nasi minyak, chicken rendang and achar, were distributed by three volunteers from OCBC Bank to families living in rental flats in Lavender, North Bridge and Bukit Ho Swee.

Each family also received red packets containing $100 worth of supermarket vouchers.

The dishes were prepared and cooked by three women under the Beyond Social Services' Project Masak-lah programme, which OCBC Bank has been supporting since August last year.

The programme aims to empower women from low-income households in putting their culinary skills to good use to fulfil the food needs of other families in the community, while receiving an allowance for their efforts.

Housewife Tuty Sukari, 45, who is one of the cooks and a beneficiary under Beyond Social Services said that she is happy to be part of the programme.

"I feel a sense of achievement when they tell me that my food is delicious," she added.

Under the programme, eight women have prepared more than 7,000 meals for more than 80 families over five months to date.

The meals are prepared twice a week, scheduled based on the families' indication of when the meals are needed. All the food ingredients are paid for under the #OCBCCares Programme.

OCBC staff volunteer Jerrica Lee, who works in the human resources department, said: "Nothing warms my heart more than to see those who have received help offering help in return."

One of the beneficiaries, who wished to be known only as Mrs Wee, 48, said she is thankful for the initiative as she and her son have been isolating at home since her husband was diagnosed with Covid-19 last week.

"This Lunar New Year is especially tough for us as we are all cooped up at home. The food distribution definitely ensures that my son gets to have a proper meal on ren ri."

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.