Households in S’pore have easier access to food assistance programs thanks to a new online directory
SINGAPORE – Households struggling to put meals on the table will now have easier access to community food support initiatives thanks to the launch of a new directory that helps them locate food charities in their neighbourhood.
Launched last Monday (April 25), the FoodConnect directory lists organizations by service location, food needs, type of food support and delivery method. This is the first consolidated food directory in Singapore.
In a Facebook post about the launch of the yearbook, Parliamentary Secretary for Social and Family Development Eric Chua said the charity food task force set up by the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) was working with social service agencies to make food support programs more effective. data-driven and empowering beneficiaries.
He added: “(The directory) allows families in need, social service agencies and volunteer groups to search for sources of food support by location and diet.
“The database also allows food support groups to coordinate with each other to minimize duplication and strengthen support for families in need.”
The directory takes into account a user’s preference for vegetarian, halal or non-halal options, while the type of food support allows users to choose between ready meals, food rations and food stamps.
Users can also get in touch with organizations that deliver to homes or collect from a distribution point.
Food support groups said the directory will help break down the stigma that many families face when seeking help.
Mr Nicholas Lai, executive director of the Yong-en Care Center in Chinatown, said food support initiatives also have a positive psychological impact on recipients, who may see friends as a reliable source to turn to in case of need.
Yong-en’s food support initiative, launched in 2009, is for about 150 applicants, two-thirds of whom are people over the age of 60.
The charity sources dry foods like rice, vermicelli or canned foods from supermarkets before volunteers pack them and distribute them to beneficiaries.
Mr Lai said: “One of the benefits of the FoodConnect directory is that it helps people in need of food assistance quickly access information about people who can help them. It is also useful for those who may be initially embarrassed by their situation to shop around looking for information on who can help them.”