Coronavirus: 12,000 students from low-income households to receive GrabFood vouchers during circuit breaker period

Each eligible student will receive 11 e-vouchers worth $5 each to order and pick up hot meals via the GrabFood app. ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

SINGAPORE - About 12,000 students from low-income families will receive financial aid for buying meals during the circuit breaker period, under a scheme by the five community development councils (CDCs), Grab Singapore and a philanthropist, Dr Tahir.

Under the CDC Student Meals Scheme, which was launched on Tuesday (April 14), each eligible student will receive 11 e-vouchers worth $5 each to order and pick up hot meals via the GrabFood app from participating merchants that offer a self pick-up option.

The vouchers must be used by May 31 this year.

According to a media release on Tuesday by the CDCs, Grab Singapore and People's Association, the scheme is meant to help primary and secondary school students living in units under the Public Rental Scheme.

The Public Rental Scheme allows eligible families to rent certain flats at a highly subsidised rate. For a family to be eligible under this scheme, its total household gross income should not exceed $1,500 per month in general.

The CDC Student Meals Scheme aims to help these families defray the cost of buying meals while their children are on home-based learning during the circuit breaker period, the media release said.

This scheme will also help students avoid queues and limit their time spent outdoors during this period. It also aims to improve business demand for heartland food merchants.

Eligible students can sign up for the scheme via e-mail to their respective CDCs.

According to the media release, a total of $660,000 will be set aside for the scheme, with the entire sum converted into GrabFood vouchers for the students.

Of this sum, $300,000 was donated by the 68-year-old Dr Tahir as part of his earlier donation this month to help financially needy individuals and families who are affected by Covid-19, which amounted to $500,000.

Dr Tahir had entrusted the monies to Singapore Press Holdings' Chinese Media Group for assistance in disbursing the amount to recipients.

The philanthropist, who goes by a single name, is a permanent resident here and the founder of the Mayapada Group, one of Indonesia's biggest conglomerates and has businesses in financial services, healthcare and real estate.

The CDCs will donate another $300,000 to the CDC Student Meals Scheme, while Grab Singapore will contribute the remaining $60,000.

"Covid-19 has disrupted the lives of many and has had a far-reaching impact on businesses, including ours," said Grab Singapore managing director Yee Wee Tang in the media release.

"We believe that as we stand united as a community, we can overcome this situation," he added.

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