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Food Donations in Singapore - Tackling Persistent Food Insecurity

Published: 25 April 2023, Tuesday

Food Donations in Singapore - Tackling Persistent Food Insecurity

Invisible Hunger: The Surprising Reality of Food Insecurity in Singapore

Food insecurity is defined as a state when a household does not have or is not confident of having, economic and physical access to sufficient, acceptable food for a healthy life. Despite Singapore being a developed country, food security remains a very real and pressing issue.

At Food from the Heart, alleviating food insecurity is one of our top priorities - which is why we have dedicated the last 20 years towards our mission of providing reliable, consistent and sustainable food support to the less-fortunate. A nationally representative study published Commissioned by The Food Bank Singapore (FBSG) in 2020 found that 10.4% of the 1,200 surveyed households experienced food insecurity at least once in the last 12 months at the time of the survey’s completion. These findings are backed up by the National Population Health Survey, conducted by the Health Promotion Board a year prior, which found approximately 1 in 10 households lack sufficient access to food.

Beyond The Surface: Who Suffers from Food Insecurity in Singapore?

The elderly poor often spring first to mind as an at-risk group – and not just for the lack of savings or income. Sickness, restricted mobility, and frailty make it especially difficult for elderly who live alone to prepare meals for themselves as well. However, there are also food insecure groups whose needs may not be so plain to see, and find themselves falling under the radar.

For families with limited resources, the arrival of a new child can cause a significant strain on their budget. The need to purchase additional baby formula, diapers, and other necessary items can quickly deplete their financial resources, leaving them with little left to put towards purchasing food. This can be especially true for families with multiple children, where the cost of living expenses increases with each additional child.

Single-parent households may face additional challenges such as limited access to affordable childcare, transportation, and healthcare. Widowed parents, on the other hand, may find themselves suddenly thrust into a difficult financial situation after losing a spouse. They may need to take on additional responsibilities or may have to leave the workforce to care for their children, which can put additional strain on their finances. 

Food from the Heart understands that food insecurity can affect anyone, regardless of their age, gender, race, or socioeconomic status. We recognise that many people who struggle to make ends meet may not qualify for government assistance or other forms of aid. Therefore, we aim to cast a wide net and provide support to as many individuals and families as possible, including those who may have fallen through the cracks.

Fighting Hunger, One Donation at a Time: The Role of Food Donations

Food donations play a vital role in addressing food insecurity in Singapore. By providing a consistent source of food, food donations increase access to nutritious food for those who are struggling to put food on the table. This, in turn, helps to fight the myriad of chronic diseases and mental health issues caused by malnutrition. They also help to combat the social isolation and marginalisation that is the result of a lack of financial resources to buy adequate food.

Food donations can serve as a catalyst for community involvement and reignite the “kampung spirit”. Charities like us can provide an opportunity for individuals, businesses, and other organisations to come together and contribute to a cause that affects the entire community. All this helps strengthen community ties and build a sense of solidarity. Additionally, food donations help to raise awareness about the issue of food insecurity in Singapore.

volunteers wearing the iconic red food from the heart vest packing donations at a food drive

How You Can Play Your Part In The Fight Against Food Insecurity

If you would like to make a food donation, you can do so at Food from the Heart’s office at 130 Joo Seng Road #03-01 Singapore 368357, from Mondays to Fridays 9am-6pm. You can even donate by having the food delivered through online grocers like FairPrice and RedMart. If you are donating non-perishable foods, you may drop off your donation at the donation box outside our office or at any of the Community Shop’s 24/7 food drops.

Our wish list include small packets of rice, small bottles of cooking oil, instant noodles, canned food, coffee, tea, Milo, oat, cereal, biscuit and bread spread. These food, which are nutritionally-dense or have higher protein, should be three months or more away from expiring. Well-portioned, smaller quantities of food items are appreciated.

Donors can also make cash contributions online through our website, giving.sg, or by mailing a cheque to our office. Every donation will go towards providing safe-to-eat food for beneficiaries and critical operating costs. Join Food from the Heart's mission to battle hunger in Singapore and make a difference in the lives of those in need by making a donation today!

Find out more information on how to donate by visiting our website here.

About Food from the Heart

Food from the Heart is a non-profit organisation that feeds the needy through its food distribution programme. It was established in February 2003 after Singapore-based Austrian couple Henry and Christine Laimer read a report in The Sunday Times about bakeries discarding their unsold bread. Stirred, they then decided to channel surplus food from bakeries to those in need. Food from the Heart started with 120 volunteers in 2003 and have since grown to over 10,000. In 2021, we have supported 59,500 beneficiaries across Singapore.


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