Prevent wastage by giving unwanted food to charity
Mention throwing out leftover food, and we’ll always have that one friend saying, “think about the children in Africa!” While Africa is an 11-hour flight away, we can always think closer to home, and remember the hungry living amidst us. Because while one of our biggest #firstworldproblems is suffering from food comas, there are many less fortunate people in our own country who worry about whether they’ll even get their next meal.
In 2016, Singaporeans generated more than 790,000 tonnes of food waste - that’s equivalent to almost 2 bowls of rice per person every day! Instead of letting that uneaten food go to waste, donate it to local charities that you are passionate about, and save someone from going hungry.
1. Food Bank
Tossing out unwanted food is a waste when there are many lower income families that go to bed on growling stomachs. Offer the hungry a good night's rest by donating your unwanted non-perishable food items to the Food Bank for distribution.
Donations should have at least 4 weeks of shelf life, and can be dropped off at the Food Bank’s warehouse, or any of their 14 bank boxes located islandwide. Some of these locations include supermarkets and even malls, making it convenient for you to give back to society.
2. Food From The Heart
Like what Mother Teresa said, poverty is not only about being hungry and homeless - the greatest poverty of all is when one is unloved and uncared for. Food From The Heart keeps the the lower income’s tummies and hearts full, by showing love to them through food and toy distributions, and even birthday celebrations.
Since 2015, more than 25,000 less privileged individuals have benefited from their charity. You can add to the numbers too - by donating non-perishable food items with at least 3 months of shelf life to their warehouse on weekdays, 10am-5pm. Give them a call before making your way down.
3. Willing Hearts
Being miles from home, it gets lonely for the migrant workers who labour on tirelessly to help build our country - even after the rest of us have gone home to our families. Willing Hearts provides these oft-underappreciated migrant workers much needed respite - with a free piping hot meal and good company after a tough day at work. Some 5000 meals are dished out daily by the soup kitchen to marginalised groups in society.
Show your appreciation to our silent heroes by dropping off food items, from staples to condiments, at the Kembangan - Chai Chee Community Hub from 4.30am-3pm daily.
4. Lions Home For The Elders
Lions Home For The Elders houses the aged and destitute, providing quality care to elders ridden with illness. To help ease the costs of caring for these seniors, the centre welcomes donations of groceries and household items - which you can simply drop off at their Bishan compound.
On their wishlist are items ranging from red dates to evaporated milk, preferably with as long a shelf life as possible.
Address: 9 Bishan Street 13 Singapore 579804
Telephone: 6252 9900
5. Ronald McDonald House at National University Hospital
While sending cheers through his Happy Meals, the happy-go-lucky clown Ronald McDonald also brings smiles to seriously ill children. Believing that children can recover faster with strong familial support, the Ronald McDonald House Charity has built a “home away from home” at NUH - where parents and young patients can stay at to be closer to each other.
To support their charitable works, the Ronald McDonald House Charity is appealing for food donations, along with household products and toys for the kids. Imagine the priceless smiles you’ll be putting on all the faces of the little children!
Address: 5 Lower Kent Ridge Road National University Hospital Main Building Level 4 Singapore 119074 Telephone: 6778 1934
6. Heart to Heart
Born into poverty, ‘Mother Teresa’ Hsu was able to empathise with the needy which inspired her to become a social worker. Even when she turned 100 - way beyond retirement age, she selflessly engaged in humanitarian work to better the lives of the less fortunate. Teresa has since passed, but her legacy of goodwill lives on through the Heart to Heart assistance programme.
You too can contribute to Heart to Heart’s efforts by donating food to their organisation. If you have a habit of going overboard during NTUC’s monthly promotions, donate your excess packets of food here instead of hoarding them in your pantry.
Address: 9 Selegie Road #03-33 Singapore 180009
Telephone: 6333 9439
7. Philippine Embassy
Philippines is no stranger to natural disaster - in fact, she’s one of the countries with the highest disaster risk. You may recall the recent Typhoon Nock-Ten that lashed on Christmas Day which left many homes and infrastructure devastated. Although months have passed, the affected regions are still in the process of recovery.
Help disaster victims rebuild their lives by donating rations, medicine, and books to the Philippine Embassy during this tumultuous period.
Refer here for the full list of items that can be donated.
Address: 20 Nassim Road, Singapore 258395
Opening Hours: Mon - Fri: 9am - 12pm, 1pm - 5pm
Telephone: 6252 9900
Provide a next meal for someone in need
With all our privileges, we often throw away unwanted food without a second thought - especially since most of us have not truly experienced constant hunger like the less fortunate have. If you still have canned goods or even uneaten boxes of cookies lying around from CNY, spread the joy to someone else by giving them away.
That said, do be mindful of expiry dates - only items fit for consumption should be donated.