New initiative for low- and middle-income families in Tampines GRC to get discounted groceries

Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat (left) and Mayor of North-East District Desmond Choo (right) interacting with Javier Chee, 11, at the launch of Tampines Project 100=50 at at Arena  @  OTH on Aug 25, 2019.
Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat (left) and Mayor of North-East District Desmond Choo (right) interacting with Javier Chee, 11, at the launch of Tampines Project 100=50 at at Arena  @  OTH on Aug 25, 2019. ST PHOTO: GIN TAY
Organised in partnership with Sheng Siong Supermarket and the Heartwarmers Volunteer Group, the Tampines Project 100=50 initiative sells grocery items at cost price.
Organised in partnership with Sheng Siong Supermarket and the Heartwarmers Volunteer Group, the Tampines Project 100=50 initiative sells grocery items at cost price.ST PHOTO: GIN TAY

SINGAPORE - A new initiative launched by Tampines GRC will see about 500 low- to middle-income families receive discounted groceries for the next year.

The Tampines Project 100=50 initiative, which was launched on Sunday (Aug 25) at Arena  @  OTH, offers these households the opportunity to pick out their own groceries and receive a discount on their final bill.

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

As part of the initiative, a pop-up supermarket will be set up at Arena  @ OTH every last Sunday of the month.

Here, recipients can choose from about 330 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.

Speaking to the media at the launch, Mayor of North East District 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 that 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,the project has now been scaled up to a GRC-level initiative.

Beneficiaries of Tampines Project 100=50 are identified by the five Community Development and Welfare Fund Committees (CDWFs) in Tampines.

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

Pre-school teacher Yati Arshad, 29, who attended the event on Sunday and got $157 worth of groceries at $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."