Giant, UOB help distribute 25,000kg of rice to homes, mosques in Joo Chiat, Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

Giant, UOB help distribute 25,000kg of rice to homes, mosques in Joo Chiat

When handed a bag of rice marked as weighing at '25,000kg', Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Edwin Tong feigned dropping it – much to the amusement of many at Siglap South Community Centre.

But it is, after all, a heavy load to feed the needy. 

Thankfully, DFI Retail Group, which operates supermarkets like Giant and Cold Storage, and United Overseas Bank (UOB) have joined hands for the Have You Eaten? project.

As a result, elderly homes, mosques and churches in Joo Chiat received 25,000kg of rice on Friday as part of a campaign to provide one million meals in two years to the less fortunate in Singapore.

The campaign, which began August last year, is a tie-up with non-profit The Food Bank Singapore to reduce hunger and increase food security for the less fortunate.

The rice – 5,000 bags of 5kg Meadows Thai Fragrant Rice – which is equivalent to 62,500 meals, was distributed at the Siglap South Community Centre to the Joo Chiat Division of Marine Parade GRC, who will hand out the bags to community partners that serve the elderly and vulnerable in the area.

Attending the distribution event, Mr Tong said that food is a key aspect of Singapore’s festive celebrations, and rice is central to the local diet.

He said: “From nasi briyani to nasi lemak, from rice at tuan yuan fun (Chinese New Year reunion dinner) to rice we pair with curry debal (Devil’s curry), rice is about as Singaporean as you can get. But yet, there are some in our society who, for various reasons, might find it difficult to put rice on the table as often as they like.”

He said that initiatives like these are important to providing community support to the less fortunate.

Mr Edwin Tong (centre) receiving the donation of 25,000kg of rice from Mr Lee Yik Hun (left) of DFI Retail Group and Mr Luke Siew of UOB. PHOTO: GIANT SINGAPORE

In Singapore, for every 1kg of Meadows rice bought from any Giant, Cold Storage and CS Fresh store, 10 cents will be used to purchase the same brand at cost price, which will go towards feeding beneficiaries The Food Bank Singapore supports.

DFI’s South East Asia marketing director for food and own brand Lee Yik Hun, who attended the distribution alongside UOB first vice president for cards and payments, personal financial services Luke Siew, said that the project aims to strengthen food security in Singapore. 

He said: “With rice as a staple in the Singapore diet, we often take that one bowl, or plate of rice for granted. We hope to raise awareness that there are still many among us in Singapore who may sometimes struggle to put food on the table.”