Belanja a Meal 2.0: Support elderly hawkers & underprivileged households at the same time

Nothing quite encapsulates the power of our Singaporean spirit more than the way the community has come together to help out local hawkers who are struggling to stay afloat during the COVID-19 storm. I’m sure you’re familiar with initiatives such as the creation of a Google Maps layer and social media platforms that have raised both support and awareness for elderly hawkers. If you’ve consistently been on team #supportlocal but want to do more, Belanja a Meal 2.0 might just be the ideal solution.

volunteers packing meals for the underprivileged

Belanja a Meal was launched during Circuit Breaker last year to show support for elderly hawkers losing businesses and underprivileged families struggling to make ends meet. The youth-led initiative was a success, where S$22,680 worth of hawker vouchers were raised and distributed to lower income families.

The implementation of restrictions as part of Phase 2 (Heightened Alert) meant that the elderly hawkers who weren’t tech-savvy enough to go digital saw dwindled profit margins. Belanja a Meal 2.0 was thus introduced, where public donations funded meals purchased from vulnerable hawkers for underprivileged members of the community.

volunteers on their food distribution runs

Belanja a Meal 2.0 will be in collaboration with various community partners such as Hawkers Association, and is launching a pay-it-forward model that supports community partner stalls. This way, residents can top up to belanja a meal for underprivileged members of the community. This two-pronged approach seeks to encourage members of the community to support both local hawkers and low-income families at the same time.

volunteers distributing food to the houses of less privileged residents

The first phase ended on 1 June 2021, where more than S$60,000 was raised for various beneficiaries and 22 local hawkers were onboarded onto the Belanja a Meal initiative. More than 4,000 meals were purchased with the support of 3Pumpkins, KampungKakis, PAYM, and Boon Lay Hawker Association, who rallied 100 volunteers to distribute the meals to 220 less-privileged members of the community in Boon Lay.

The second phase of Belanja a Meal 2.0 is looking for both volunteer and monetary support to aid their goal to raise S$80,000, and help more neighbouring communities in Jurong West.

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