Sembawang gardeners harvest vegetables for needy residents

Transport Minister Ong Ye Kung (left) helping out with the harvest yesterday in a private housing estate. The 60kg of vegetables, plus groceries, were distributed to about 30 families in two HDB rental blocks in Sembawang.
Transport Minister Ong Ye Kung (left) helping out with the harvest yesterday in a private housing estate. The 60kg of vegetables, plus groceries, were distributed to about 30 families in two HDB rental blocks in Sembawang.PHOTO: KEVIN LIM

A second batch of vegetables was harvested and given to needy residents living in Sembawang GRC under its Gardens Give Back programme yesterday.

The scheme, which was launched on Feb 28, sees residents taking turns to collect produce from 23 community gardens across Sembawang for distribution.

Yesterday's harvest took place at Sembawang Central Residents' Network Community Garden, the only one of the 23 gardens to be located in a private housing estate.

About 20 residents, mostly businessmen, take turns to manage the garden.

Among them is 67-year-old Soh Wee Seng, who said he visits the garden every evening.

"I used to live in a kampung in Nee Soon and back then, we would grow vegetables too," he noted.

"Now that I am free in the evenings, it is a nice way to pass the time, and having this garden around makes people happy.

"Many children do not know where vegetables come from, so it's nice for them to see and learn," he added.

Transport Minister Ong Ye Kung, who is the MP for Sembawang Central, joined in yesterday's harvest, which yielded about 60kg of vegetables.

He said the residents, who mostly used to live in kampungs, started the garden under former minister and MP for the area Khaw Boon Wan.

"And since I came over here (as the MP), I thought it's a good idea if we can distribute some of their harvest to lower-income families," he added.

After the harvest yesterday, residents went to two Housing Board rental blocks to distribute the vegetables, plus eggs, bread and other groceries to about 30 families.

One recipient, Madam Noorhafizah Udin, said the initiative will help provide nutritious meals for her household of eight, including six children aged eight to 15.

"Usually, I cook only long beans and kailan, but we were given a few other types like kangkong, so it's something new on the menu for them today," said the 32-year-old management trainee.

Ng Keng Gene

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 29, 2021, with the headline 'Sembawang gardeners harvest vegetables for needy residents'. Subscribe