Rugby: Singapore community scrums in support of feeding those in need

National rugby players Loo Zi Jia (left) and Amanda Ng distribute frozen meals to beneficiaries on Aug 5, 2020. ST PHOTO: CHONG JUN LIANG

SINGAPORE - She is more familiar with charging towards opponents with a ball tucked under her arm, but national rugby player Victoria Chew found herself dashing from one housing board unit to another with a bento box in hand, at York Hill estate on Wednesday (August 5) evening.

The 21-year-old was among the national rugby players and volunteers from the Singapore Rugby Union (SRU) that took part in the "Do Good, Send Love" initiative, which aims to deliver frozen meals to communities-in-need.

"It's great," said Chew, wearing a broad grin, when asked about the experience.

"As a player, I've been supported by my community and I know what that (support) feels like. So whatever little we have - be it time, money or effort - we can give, we should give back to the community."

Do Good, Send Love is a collaboration between social enterprise Elpis @ Hideout, the Central Community Development Council (CDC), SRU and JR Foods.

Some 6,000 frozen meals will be distributed to 1,500 households across the Central Singapore district from Wednesday to Friday.

This will take the total number of frozen meals distributed as part of the campaign, which was started by Elpis in March, to 18,000.

Wednesday's event saw volunteers from SRU join guest-of-honour Manpower Minister Josephine Teo - who is also grassroots adviser to Jalan Besar GRC grassroots organisations - and Central Singapore District mayor Denise Phua in distributing meals to residents in the York Hill estate.

Said Minister Teo: "I'm heartened by businesses that actively reach out to help communities in need. Our residents at Kreta Ayer-Kim Seng are touched by their generosity."

(From left) National rugby players Chong Hui Min, Amanda Ng and Loo Zi Jia pack the frozen meals before distributing them to beneficiaries on Aug 5, 2020. ST PHOTO: CHONG JUN LIANG

Ms Phua commended Elpis, JR Foods and SRU for "walking the walk" and said: "Every one of us can play a part in creating a more caring society. No action is too small.

"Making the effort to donate and distribute 6,000 free meals during the National Day season is indeed a special and meaningful way to celebrate Singapore's 55th birthday. Singapore can only be stronger, together."

Elpis chief social connector Germaine Lim, who initially set out to raise enough for 600 meals, said: "I started (Do Good, Send Love) as a personal challenge, and thanks to the love given by friends and family around me, we reached our target, and this gave us the passion to go further.

"This marks a fantastic end to the project, with $100,000 raised, 18,000 meals distributed and 4,000 fed."

Jocelyn Chng, chief executive officer of JR Foods, which produces the Chef-in-Box bento meals, said: "JR Food's mission is to feed well with delicious and nutritious food because great meals make happy people.

"We are thrilled to be able to collaborate with Central CDC and our campaign partners, SRU and Elpis, to feed those in need and to do this in celebration of our nation's 55th birthday."

SRU head of commercial, pr and communications Douglas Danapal said he was heartened by the enthusiasm shown by the Singapore rugby community - from national players in both the men's and women's squads, to those involved in expatriate and local clubs and even SRU vendors - coming forward to volunteer.

"The national team athletes, and rugby, have been blessed," he said.

"And sport, not just rugby, transcends the field of play. It shouldn't be a case of: I train, I play, I win a medal, that's it.

"If we're in a better place, it's our duty to give back to the community."

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