It is undeniable that the F&B industry in Singapore took serious hits during the pandemic, with the elderly hawkers affected the most badly in their struggle to join online delivery platforms. Numerous Singaporeans have launched initiatives to help give these hawkers an online presence such as the Hawkers United Facebook group and a crowd-sourced Google Maps infographic listing local hawkers based on location. @wheretodapao on Instagram is one of such initiatives, and since its launch on 21 May, has gained a legion of 34k followers, featured more than 40 hawker stalls run by elderly, and introduced four collaborations.
@wheretodapao’s latest initiative is a collaboration with Scratchbac, a hyperlocal peer to peer network on Telegram that aims to connect local communities by allowing people to communicate with neighbours within a 1km vicinity. In light of their recent collaboration, Scratchbac introduced a new “Dabao Together” feature to help members of the community tapau food together or split costs when ordering on food delivery platforms.
Members of Scratchbac’s Telegram group channel can find hawker stalls featured on @wheretodapao’s Instagram page and place their orders with nearby neighbours there. The creator of the order can customise the cutoff timings for final orders as well as key in a small delivery fee for each order placed by their neighbours.
Posts in Scratchbac’s Telegram channel also include outbound links where patrons can read on hawkers’ backstories or put in requests for a specific hawker stall. Scratchbac currently has 35k members, which means that there will most likely be somebody in the vicinity to show support for local elderly hawkers and tapau food together.
Other prior collaborations with @wheretodapao include local bank DBS and Paylah!, food delivery platform foodpanda, and sustainable initiative Just Dabao. The Google Form set up by @wheretodapao is still open to Singaporeans who want to go the extra mile to show support for their favourite elderly-run hawker stalls.
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