Discounted groceries for 500 Tampines families

Tampines residents making their selection at a pop-up supermarket at Arena@OTH yesterday during the launch of an initiative offering discounted groceries to lower-and middle-income families for the next year.
Tampines residents making their selection at a pop-up supermarket at Arena@OTH yesterday during the launch of an initiative offering discounted groceries to lower-and middle-income families for the next year. ST PHOTO: GIN TAY

Lower-income residents can get up to $50 off each time they shop

An initiative launched by Tampines GRC will see about 500 low-and middle-income families receive discounted groceries for the next year.

The Tampines Project 100=50 initiative, which was launched yesterday at Arena@OTH (Our Tampines Hub), offers these households the opportunity to pick out their own groceries and receive a discount on their final bill.

The total subsidy received by each eligible household is capped at 50 per cent of the total bill or $50, whichever is lower.

A pop-up supermarket will be set up at Arena@OTH every last Sunday of the month.

Here, recipients can choose from about 330 different grocery items, including laundry supplies, canned food, frozen food, personal care items, rice and oil.

Organised in partnership with Sheng Siong Supermarket and the Heartwarmers Volunteer Group, the initiative sells grocery items at cost price.

North East District Mayor Desmond Choo said this project differs from those that deliver grocery items to low-income households.

 
 
 

He said that when items are delivered, families sometimes end up overloaded with particular products they might not be able to use.

"Here, the residents can get things that they really need below the usual supermarket prices. This will allow them to save on cost as well as reduce wastage," he said.

As to whether the initiative will be expanded to the larger North East District, he said: "This is something we are evaluating very closely.

"There are certainly plans, depending on the outcome of the GRC project here, to expand to other parts of the North East District, especially those that have a higher number of lower-income residents, including parts of Kaki Bukit and Bedok."

A year-long pilot for the initiative was launched in July last year in the Tampines North constituency.

The pilot helped about 150 families a month with their grocery shopping. Due to its success, it has been scaled up to a GRC-level initiative.

Beneficiaries are identified by the five Community Development and Welfare Fund committees in Tampines.

Most of the households belong to lower-to middle-income residents who are not receiving financial assistance from the Government or social welfare agencies.

Pre-school teacher Yati Arshad, 29, who was at the event yesterday and got $157 worth of groceries for $107, said the subsidy is helpful and the selection of groceries adequate.

Ms Yati, who lives with her parents, two sisters and a niece in their four-bedroom Housing Board flat in Tampines Changkat, said: "It's good that they have reached out to the middle-income families as well.

"It's rare that we get an opportunity like this and it feels like we are being looked out for."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 26, 2019, with the headline 'Discounted groceries for 500 Tampines families'. Print Edition | Subscribe