Social enterprise, eateries team up to deliver free meals in Bukit Merah

Miss Lim Si Hui, senior lead of outreach and partnerships at Glyph, delivering a meal from Knead to Eat to a resident in Bukit Merah.
Miss Lim Si Hui, senior lead of outreach and partnerships at Glyph, delivering a meal from Knead to Eat to a resident in Bukit Merah.PHOTO: LIM SI HUI

Every weekday, social enterprise Glyph delivers free lunch and dinner to 50 children and their families living in rental flats in Bukit Merah. The meals include rice with meat and vegetables, noodles or burgers.

The initiative, which started on April 20, aims to ease the families' worries about putting food on the table amid the coronavirus pandemic. This is both important and timely considering many sectors are likely to cut wages or reduce headcount as revenues shrink.

Six volunteers and employees from Glyph make door-to-door deliveries across six Housing Board blocks in the neighbourhood. They follow safe distancing measures and practise good hygiene while distributing the food.

Families who are fasting during Ramadan are served dinner only.

"Glyph's mission has always been to fight alongside the families, especially so during such tough periods," said Miss Lim Si Hui, 22, senior lead of outreach and partnerships at Glyph. "We hope to inspire more people to come on board and contribute."

Established in 2017, Glyph has run activities for more than 1,200 disadvantaged youth, such as workshops in rock climbing, coding and financial literacy. It operates in the Bukit Merah area and the 50 children who receive free meals have been attending its activities.

The free food initiative is supported by Mr Tham Kok Yun, owner of fish-and-chip restaurant Big Fish Small Fish, who then roped in another 15 eateries, such as Fatburger, The Original Boat Noodle and The Shepherd's Pie.

Said Michelle Yeo, 14, who sometimes has to buy her own food as her parents are too busy to cook: "I don't have to worry about getting food every day... My favourites are the healthy grain bowl and the fish and chips."

For Mrs Vicky Krishna, 38, the food distribution allows her to spend more time with her only child. "It's good for my daughter to try different kinds of food," said the drama teacher.

Glyph hopes to work with more sponsors so they can help more people. Miss Ang Weili, 26, lead of educational programmes, said it is important to connect with lower-income families and single-parent households as they can become more vulnerable during a crisis.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 04, 2020, with the headline 'Social enterprise, eateries team up to deliver free meals in Bukit Merah'. Print Edition | Subscribe