Singapore

FairPrice's Share-A-Textbook scheme back for its 39th year

FairPrice's Share-A-Textbook scheme is returning for its 39th year and will especially benefit families impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic, said FairPrice group chief executive Seah Kian Peng yesterday. He was speaking at the launch of this year's programme at Our Tampines Hub (OTH).

The scheme, which started in 1983, collects used textbooks and assessment books and distributes them to needy families.

This year, it will take place from Dec 12 to 15.

This year's launch was also attended by Education Minister Chan Chun Sing.

At the event, Mr Seah also announced the first edition of the Food, Innovation and Technology (FIT) hackathon.

He said that through the FIT hackathon, secondary school and tertiary students are given the platform to share community solutions that tackle issues on lowering carbon emissions, reducing waste and encouraging community sharing.

The winners of the hackathon will have the opportunity to work with community partners to bring their ideas to life.

Under the Share-A-Textbook scheme, from now till Nov 30, the public can drop off old textbooks at 81 FairPrice stores islandwide.

These include Warehouse Club, FairPrice Xtra hypermarkets, FairPrice Finest stores, selected FairPrice supermarkets and FairPrice Xpress stores at Esso service stations.

Donated textbooks must be in the current school syllabus and in usable condition. Assessment books, story books or encyclopaedias are also accepted.

FairPrice has 2,100 volunteers this year who will assist with the sorting and distribution of old textbooks and assessment books. This is the highest number of volunteers for the programme.

Mr Chan emphasised that the scheme is a simple initiative but embodies societal values.

"Taking over a set of old textbooks, using them and being prepared to pass them on inculcate in us a sense of responsibility," he said.

Mr Seah said: "We are more than determined that the project should continue so that the community, especially those impacted by the pandemic, can benefit from it."

As a partner of the scheme, OTH has facilitated the sorting and distribution of textbooks for the past three years.

Ms Emily Fong, deputy director of asset management at OTH, highlighted the environmental aspect of the scheme.

"The campaign encourages Singapore families to be more sustainable and recycle instead of buying new books," she said.

Education