SINGAPORE - Seniors living in Nee Soon South can savour their morning cup of kopi-o kosong for much less from this week.
Every Wednesday morning, those in the Merdeka and Pioneer generations will pay 50 cents - instead of around $1.10 - for their kopi-o kosong or teh-o kosong at coffee shops in the ward.
The year-long initiative was launched by Nee Soon GRC MP Lee Bee Wah on Sunday (June 30) morning.
All 10 privately owned coffee shops in Nee Soon South will offer the discount from opening until noon on Wednesdays.
A similar initiative was announced in April at about 100 coffee shops and foodcourts run by NTUC Foodfare and Kopitiam, but the Nee Soon South initiative is the first that involves privately owned coffee shops.
"This is a very good opportunity to show our appreciation for our Pioneer Generation and Merdeka Generation," said Ms Lee, who is in charge of the ward.
She added that by focusing on low-sugar drinks, the initiative is consistent with efforts of the Diabetes Resource Centre, which was opened in Yishun two years ago.
The initiative also aims to encourage residents to exercise in the morning, and hang out with fellow residents afterwards, said Ms Lee. Encouraging residents to interact more is part of Yishun's efforts as a dementia-friendly town.
"By offering coffee and tea at 50 cents, we hope more residents will come out," she said.
Ms Lee said the coffee shop owners were very supportive and agreed to the initiative quickly.
Mr Seth Soh, 29, manager of Welcome Cafe coffee shop at Block 848 Yishun Ring Road, said the initiative was meaningful, as it supports a healthy lifestyle for seniors, and he agreed immediately when the idea was proposed a month ago.
"If we can help the Merdeka and Pioneer generations get a healthier lifestyle and offer it at a lower price, then I think it's part of our service to the community," said Mr Soh, whose coffee shop typically sells between 50 and 60 cups on Wednesday mornings.
While he acknowledged that overall profits would come down, he said the initiative was a worthwhile one.
Housewife Phua Chew Hoi, 61, who has coffee with her friends about three to four times a week at Broadway coffee shop also at Block 848, said the discount was "not bad".
She has lived in the area for over 30 years, and such an initiative is a first, she said.
"We usually order drinks with lower sugar content, such as kopi-o, because some of those in my group have health conditions, such as diabetes," she said.