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Clean Plate Campaign: Reduce Food Waste, Feed the Needy

Published: 1 October 2021, Friday

Clean Plate Campaign: Reduce Food Waste, Feed the Needy

665,000 tonnes of food was wasted in Singapore in 2020.

To many, this statistic is just a number. After all, why does it matter that we waste the food that we paid for?


Environmental Impact

The answer is manifold; it takes resources to grow food – space, water, energy, time and an ideal mix of conditions have to be set up for even a single grain of rice to end up on our plate. These resources are finite and can be exhausted. 

This is especially relevant to land-scarce Singapore, where we are heavily dependent on food imports to survive. While the food landscape is evolving for Singapore to be more self-sustaining, we need to close the gap on both ends by growing more and wasting less. Food waste also takes up space, and Singapore’s only landfill Semakau Island is forecasted to be completely filled up by 2035.


Not only does food waste in landfills take up space, it also produces methane gas, a harmful greenhouse gas that has heat-trapping properties that are more than 20x more lethal than carbon dioxide.



Clean Plate Campaign

The objective of Clean Plate Campaign is to provide education about food waste reduction and inculcate mindful eating habits.

With its roots in Primary Schools, it started out as a two-pronged approach that shared about the ills of food waste during school assembly talks and challenged students to finish their food during recess time. Training materials are also provided to teachers to facilitate deeper learning and understanding.


The Clean Plate Campaign has seen an exponential increase in participation since its founding, from five schools taking part in 2013 to 52 schools and 14 pre-schools in 2020, alongside growing awareness on curbing rising food wastage. With the help of student volunteer ambassadors, we managed to count a total of 146,000 clean plates across our partnering schools.

The Clean Plate Campaign is also extended to the public. Individuals can play their part when they pledge to reduce food waste and finish the food on their plates at each meal. To encourage this movement, NTUC FairPrice Foundation has stepped forward to sponsor $75,000 to support Food from the Heart’s target of 15,000 pledges. The funds raised will go towards providing for Food from the Heart’s beneficiaries. 

This means that by pledging to reduce food waste, each individual will be raising $5 for the needy. Make a pledge to save food now!



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