$1 set meals, vegetable packs and eggs in year-long deals for Bukit Panjang residents, Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

$1 set meals, vegetable packs and eggs in year-long deals for Bukit Panjang residents

For just $1, Bukit Panjang residents will be able to get set meals, vegetable packs or eggs each month for a whole year.

The Bukit Panjang Dollar Deal initiative was launched on March 2 at Bukit Panjang Community Club, where residents who had bought $1 tickets redeemed a rice bento set that included chicken, sausages with potato, and tofu.

Tickets for about 5,000 bento sets were sold, and residents can collect the food this weekend at the community club.

The initiative, which ends in February 2025, was put together by Bukit Panjang grassroots organisations (GROs).

They teamed up with 24 community partners, such as religious organisations, coffee shops and other merchants, to come up with the monthly deals.

A year-long calendar has already been drawn up, though organisers are hoping to get more partners on board.

For example, in April, residents can buy a Hari Raya festive meal, or seniors who are 60 or older can get a set meal. There will also be $1 vegetable packs in May and September, a grocery pack in October, and Chinese New Year goodies in January 2025.

Bukit Panjang grassroots organisations will take turns through the year to host each month’s deal event, where residents can pick up the food and grocery items. Some of the merchants, such as coffee shops, will also offer $1 drink sets on their premises.

Mr Liang Eng Hwa, adviser to Bukit Panjang GROs, said the initiative is a way to mitigate the rising cost of living for households. Another group that he hopes will benefit is the seniors, who may not have an income if they are not working.

Mr Liang, who is MP for Bukit Panjang, said that with each monthly deal, residents can get more for a dollar. He added that the dollar deals will benefit about 10,000 households in Bukit Panjang, with each household limited to four tickets a month through the year.

“In the past, it might seem that you could buy more with $1, but now, less. If possible, we want to reverse that a little bit, and say that with one dollar you can still buy something good.”

The grassroots organisations received $500,000 from the North West Support Grant, and also tapped its grassroots funding and donations to kick-start the initiative.

These allow them to offer some 100,000 meal sets or food packs at the subsidised dollar price tag.

In September 2023, North West Community Development Council launched the $9.5 million grant that will be disbursed to the 19 divisions in the North West District to help residents cope with rising costs.

Mr Liang said that having community partners and merchants on board will “move the needle a bit more”, and hopes that more businesses and community partners will join the initiative so more deals can be offered.

“Big or small, it doesn’t matter. Every thing, added together, (can) make a big difference,” he added.

One merchant who will offer a $1 deal in April is Abang Teh Tarik at Bukit Panjang Hawker Centre and Market. The stall will sell a meal set that consists of either a hot coffee or tea, and a snack such as youtiao or a bean cake.

The stall’s manager Wee Chu, 73, said he will gauge the take-up rate over the month before deciding whether to extend it. “My company supports me doing this. There are a lot of old people in the area, and I want to do something to help the residents here.”

Ms Ng Shu Yu turned up at the community club with her mother on March 2 to collect their bento boxes.

The 24-year-old, who works in human resources, said the $1 deal was attractive, and much cheaper than the $7 to $8 she usually pays for her lunch daily. “It’s affordable, and it can help me save a bit, even if it’s just one meal.”