Coronavirus pandemic

Firms commit to donations of fresh veggies, shoes for healthcare staff

ST VIDEO: JASON QUAH
(From far right) Ms Tan Kor Hoon and Mr Chee Zhi Kin of City Sprouts, an urban farming social enterprise, donating vegetables to Ng Teng Fong General Hospital housekeeping supervisor Loo Siew Chein and senior staff nurse Glen Li at the hospital yeste
(From far right) Ms Tan Kor Hoon and Mr Chee Zhi Kin of City Sprouts, an urban farming social enterprise, donating vegetables to Ng Teng Fong General Hospital housekeeping supervisor Loo Siew Chein and senior staff nurse Glen Li at the hospital yesterday. ST PHOTO: JASON QUAH

Healthcare workers at the front line of the fight against Covid-19 have been receiving donations of face masks, cooked food and other care packages in acknowledgement of their efforts.

Yesterday, a group of them received an unexpected gift: locally grown fresh vegetables.

Social enterprise City Sprouts harvested 750 stalks of leafy vegetables such as cai xin and nai bai from its farm and presented them to healthcare workers of Ng Teng Fong General Hospital.

City Sprouts has committed to growing 6,000 stalks of leafy vegetables for more than 500 front-line staff at the hospital by the end of July.

One recipient was intensive care unit (ICU) senior staff nurse Glen Li, 33, who said he was touched by the donation.

"I've never had such fresh vegetables before," said Mr Li, who added that he enjoys cooking after work to destress. "It will help contribute to a healthy diet."

City Sprouts co-founder Chee Zhi Kin said: "We were concerned that healthcare workers may have trouble finding time to do grocery shopping, given their extended shifts and high levels of stress in their day," said the 26-year-old.

"We wanted to do what we can to ease their worries."

The vegetables are grown at City Sprouts' 9,000 sq m urban farm Sprout Hub, located at the former Henderson Secondary School.

Global shoe company Bata also launched a worldwide initiative to give a million pairs of shoes to healthcare workers, volunteers and their families.

Bata is currently working with local hospitals to facilitate this, but did not provide more details.

(From far left) Social enterprise City Sprouts co-founders Zac Toh, 28, and Chee Zhi Kin, 26, and their staff Tan Kor Hoon, 48, and Rachel Lee, 21, harvesting vegetables from their urban farm at the former site of Henderson Secondary School in the Bu
Sprouting up in the city: (From left) Social enterprise City Sprouts co-founders Zac Toh, 28, and Chee Zhi Kin, 26, and their staff Tan Kor Hoon, 48, and Rachel Lee, 21, harvesting vegetables from their urban farm at the former site of Henderson Secondary School in the Bukit Merah area. City Sprouts has committed to planting 6,000 stalks of leafy vegetables by the end of July to be given to more than 500 front-line staff at Ng Teng Fong General Hospital. The move is one of several from companies and individuals here to show support for front-line healthcare workers. ST PHOTO: JASON QUAH

 
 
 
 

The company has committed to helping communities in need and those on the front line, its chief executive officer Alexis Nasard said.

It produces face masks, face shields and protective equipment for healthcare workers under its "Bata Heroes" project.

It has also made donations of food, hygienic products or funds through the Bata Children's Programme and the Bata Shoe Foundation.


Correction note: The quote by City Sprouts' Chee Zhi Kin has been edited for accuracy. We are sorry for the error.

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 15, 2020, with the headline 'Firms commit to donations of fresh veggies, shoes for healthcare staff'. Subscribe