Coronavirus pandemic

Dishing out free meals, mental health support to F&B workers

Tie-up with eateries, Montfort Care agency part of campaign by 7 wine and spirits firms

Grand Hyatt Singapore chefs preparing free burgers for F&B employees as part of the Together In Spirits campaign. EuroCham reimburses eateries $20 a meal to cover preparation and delivery costs.
Grand Hyatt Singapore chefs preparing free burgers for F&B employees as part of the Together In Spirits campaign. EuroCham reimburses eateries $20 a meal to cover preparation and delivery costs.PHOTO: GRAND HYATT SINGAPORE

Some food and beverage (F&B) outlets have stepped up to provide free meals for workers in the industry, which has been hammered by the pandemic.

The initiative is part of the Together In Spirits campaign launched on May 11 by seven wine and spirits firms, including Bacardi and Moet-Hennessy Diageo, through the European Chamber of Commerce (EuroCham) here.

It allows F&B employees to pre-order up to two meals a day from the nine participating outlets, which are then delivered to their homes free or collected at the outlets.

Each outlet takes turns to provide the free meals for two days. The menu includes butter chicken, Hokkien mee and falafel kebab burger with potato fries.

EuroCham reimburses the outlets a fixed cost of $20 a meal to cover preparation and delivery costs.

Mr Sim Sze Wei, bar manager of Ah Sam's Cold Drink, said it was an easy decision to support the initiative. "We are nothing without the F&B community as a whole, so in times like this we want to give back to the community which has given so much to us."

Other participating outlets include Fat Prince, Grand Hyatt Singapore and The Skewer Bar.

Overwhelming demand has resulted in the campaign being extended by 10 days to June 7, while the outlets have increased the maximum number of meals served daily from 50 to 80.

EuroCham wine and spirits committee chairman Cedric Retailleau said: "As an industry, we want to support our front-liners, who are the lifeblood of Singapore's F&B community.

 
 
 

"We hope that the campaign will not only be a step in the way to supporting them today, but also when we transition to recovery, during which our front-liners will be crucial to reviving the city's bars and restaurants."

A further 10 partner hotels and eateries will join the campaign from Friday, including The St Regis Singapore, The Capitol Kempinski Hotel Singapore and Papi's Tacos, bringing the total to 19.

The Together In Spirits campaign includes mental health support to help F&B workers manage stress during the Covid-19 crisis.

Social service agency Montfort Care is providing free counselling via videoconference until July 31. Its social workers and counsellors will also refer callers to other services for further assistance if needed.

  • KNOW ANYONE who has stepped up to fight Covid-19 or who is doing good around the neighbourhood? Write in to gyanhan@sph.com.sg at The Straits Times Newsdesk.

"During such trying times, Together In Spirits is a great initiative to show solidarity for the hardest-hit groups in our midst, and we are delighted to be part of this meaningful project where we can lend a helping hand," said Montfort Care founder and chief executive officer Samuel Ng.

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 25, 2020, with the headline 'Dishing out free meals, mental health support to F&B workers'. Subscribe