Tapping on Singaporeans’ passion for food, the Food Bank Singapore charity has launched FoodLanthropy, a series of dine-outs at which people can purchase a meal for themselves and have part of the proceeds go towards buying meal packs for the needy here and abroad.
The charity sold Korean bentos from Sarang Korean Bistro at Orchard Central during its launch last Friday to raise funds for 30,000 meal packets. The sale of one bento, which costs S$40, will help pay for 25 meal packets.
Half of the packets will be distributed to refugees along the Thai-Laos border, while the other half will be given to needy Singaporeans. Each packet, prepared by volunteers, is enough to feed six people.
The idea for FoodLanthropy arose after its co-founder, Ms Nichol Ng, realised that members of the public were keen on food drives.
“We need to reach out to people on the ground. The idea is to let people know that philanthropy can start in a small way,” she said.
While the charity aimed to sell 1,200 bentos, it only sold 350 bentos last Friday.
Ms Ng said cash donations on the day helped cover some costs.
Until the end of the month, the public can also purchase dining vouchers from the bistro and the proceeds will go to FoodLanthropy.
The meal packets contain nutritious dehydrated rice, soy, vegetables, flavouring and 21 essential vitamins and minerals, bought from Stop Hunger Now, an international hunger relief agency.
Highlighting the lack of awareness about Singaporeans who worry about the source of their next meal, Ms Ng added that Food Bank Singapore will begin a study next year to gather data on food wastage and the amount of food required by beneficiaries.
For the next FoodLanthropy event in December, Ms Ng hopes to work with chefs to create meals from near-expired food.
This, she said, will get Singaporeans to reconsider throwing away food that is near expiry.