Take what you need: Tampines residents share free veggies, fish in community refrigerators

Under grassroots initiative My Kind Of Fridge, two full-sized refrigerators and one freezer stand at the void deck of Block 441 Tampines Avenue 10 for the public to donate fresh food.
Under grassroots initiative My Kind Of Fridge, two full-sized refrigerators and one freezer stand at the void deck of Block 441 Tampines Avenue 10 for the public to donate fresh food.PHOTO: TWITTER/BAEY YAM KENG

SINGAPORE - For almost two years, a small project staged at the void deck of one Tampines Housing Board flat has been quietly contributing to the needy.

Under a grassroots initiative named My Kind Of Fridge, two full-sized refrigerators and one freezer stand at the void deck of Block 441 Tampines Street 43 for the public to donate fresh food, be it vegetables, fish, meat, eggs or fruits, to needy residents from Block 441 and 442.

Member of Parliament for Tampines GRC and chairman of Tampines Town Council Baey Yam Keng told The Straits Times that the initiative, which began in January 2017, is supported by the town council.

Mr Baey, 48, explained: "There were initially just two refrigerators. The freezer was added subsequently as a group of fishing enthusiasts has been donating their catch and requested for more space."

He added that there are about 100 rental units at the two blocks the refrigerators serve in Tampines. The refrigerators, which are open round the clock, have signs that say "Take what you need. Leave some for neighbours in need".

From photographs of the initiative posted on Facebook, at least one of the refrigerators look to be halal, as it has a halal sign and the freezer also has a sign that says no pork is allowed and that it is strictly for the donation of fishes.

Residents are not the only ones contributing to the initiative. Mr Baey posted on his Twitter account on Tuesday (Aug 28) that a restaurant donated five baskets of vegetables.

Netizens are responding well to the initiative. Facebook user and fishing enthusiast Albert Lim commented on a post about the initiative: "Let's all do it together to benefit more people! (The best) fishing kakis (Malay word which can mean buddy) are donating to the fridge constantly too!"

Tampines was also recently in the news for another fish-related initiative. A Tampines HDB flat owner made a splash when his creative fish tank, which he built on some steps in front of his flat unit, was featured on multiple news media.

The owner of the tank has since reached out to the Tampines Town Council for an official permit which will allow him to keep his fish tank, which was an unauthorised modification.

The town council told ST that it is currently working with authorities to explore ways to retain the fish tank if possible.

The Singapore Civil Defence Force has concluded that the fish tank, which keeps the flat owner's kois, does not contravene the fire code.

An earlier version of this report said that the refrigerators are located at Block 441 of Tampines Avenue 10. It should be Block 441 Tampines Street 43. We are sorry for the error.