At one charity home, a set number of dishes are rotated throughout the month, with only slight variations to the menu from month to month.
At another home, the standard menu is rice, with one meat and one vegetable dish. On weekends, the rice is swapped out for porridge for a change.
A hotel group is trying to add some spice to the dull meal routines at charity homes by sending their chefs to teach the homes’ cooks a thing or two about whipping up tasty, healthy and cheap dishes for their residents.
The initiative by Pan Pacific Hotels Group, in partnership with the National Council of Social Service (NCSS), will involve chefs from the group’s five Singapore hotels and restaurant going to four charity homes to teach them eight recipes they have created.
Over two months, the eight chefs will make four visits to each charity home to teach them these new dishes, which take into account their budgets for food and dietary needs of the residents at each home.
These homes are the AWWA Senior Community Home, Bright Hill Evergreen Home, Melrose Home Children’s Aid Society and Singapore Cheshire Home. In total, they have more than 600 residents.
Some of the recipes they have come up with include garden vegetable soup, minced chicken dumplings and eight treasures rice — and each meets the S$2.50-per-resident budget.
Ms Ong Tui Fong, 58, resident chef at Cheshire Home, said: “I have worked here for 17 years, and I am so bored of the recipes. I have (even) tried to go online to find some new ones.
“This is a good opportunity to learn some new recipes from a big chef. Learning from the Internet is not as good as somebody teaching you in real life,” she added.
Mr Hsieh Fu Hua, president of NCSS, said: “Eating well is living well. We welcome businesses to come forward with skill sets that can benefit the social service sector.”
Future plans for Pan Pacific Hotels Group’s initiative include refresher sessions for the respective homes to reinforce their culinary skills, as well as a second project run with a new group of charities next year. It has not decided on the list of charities.
As part of the initiative, Pan Pacific Hotels Group has pledged to donate 0.5 per cent of total sales proceeds from five of their all-day dining restaurants for the months of June and July. The donation will also be matched dollar-for-dollar by the Government under the Care & Share Movement, led by Community Chest.
The funds raised will be used to help the charity homes purchase equipment and supplies that will enhance their kitchens and meal preparations.