Over 730,000 boxes of masks collected in Temasek distribution drive for lower-income families, Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

Over 730,000 boxes of masks collected in Temasek distribution drive for lower-income families

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More than 730,000 boxes of surgical masks were collected by lower-income families in Temasek Foundation's latest mask distribution drive, which ended on Sunday (March 13).

Those with blue or orange Community Health Assist Scheme (Chas) cards or Public Assistance cards were entitled to free surgical masks in the latest mask distribution drive by Temasek Foundation, which began on Feb 28.

The free mask distribution was in its seventh run and was the first drive targeted at helping lower-income families.

A spokesman for Temasek Foundation told The Straits Times on Monday (March 14): "We are grateful to all our partners, from logistics (companies) to collection centres, as well as many corporate and individual volunteers from all walks of life who stepped forward to assist with the distribution and respond to public enquiries."

During the two-week distribution period, each Chas cardholder could collect one box of 50 Air+ medical-grade surgical masks, which have a high filtration efficiency of 99.9 per cent for bacteria and over 98 per cent for small particles.

Collection locations included shopping malls and supermarkets, such as specific Sheng Siong and FairPrice outlets.

The Temasek Foundation spokesman said around 900 volunteers took part in the distribution - the first time public volunteers were sourced for its mask distribution drive.

One of the oldest volunteers is 77-year old Eileen Chan, who was stationed at the customer service centre at Northpoint City in Yishun.

Madam Chan, who is self-employed, said: "Whenever there is a call for volunteers, if I can squeeze in some time, I will volunteer without hesitation. I am glad we can contribute to the community, especially during this pandemic period."

She noted that while she does volunteer work regularly, it was her first time helping Temasek Foundation with its mask distribution drive.

Madam Chan added: "Some of these recipients may have six to eight family members in their household and may not be able to afford repeated purchases of disposable masks.

"It's nice to know that by being able to change their disposable masks more often, the recipients' families can stay safe and healthy."

Blue Chas cardholder Ng Soon Huay, a retired production operator, collected a box of masks last Friday morning (March 11) at Junction 8 after running errands.

Ms Ng, who is in her 70s, was grateful for the masks especially after testing positive for Covid-19 last month.

She told ST: "Getting Covid-19 further reaffirmed to me the importance of wearing a mask to keep me and those around me safe.

"These masks will enable better protection when I head out to crowded areas. It will also help to ease financial expenses a little as I do not have to purchase good quality disposable masks out of my own pocket."