Another Week Beyond – 1816

Dear Friends

Food is our common ground, a universal experience. – James Beard

For the past 5 years or so, we have been redistributing non-perishable food from Food Bank Singapore to those residing in public rental housing neighbourhoods. Apart from staples, we get remnants from Food Festivals or restaurants every now and then. So, families are sometimes introduced to condiments and canned food that they are not familiar with and they regard this as something special. Another partner is Food from the Heart who for the past 14 years has been bringing over bread and pastries donated by bakeries and other food outlets. This is also very special. “A croissant from a cafe costs more than a plate of chicken rice at the hawker centre. Of course, I give my 4 children chicken rice but I am so happy that sometimes they get to enjoy a croissant and know what it tastes like,” a mother once told us.

Occasionally, there is also something sweet from Plain Vanilla, a bakery in Tiong Bahru but last week, we worked with Singapore Food Rescue, a new partner that rescues vegetables discarded at the Pasir Panjang Wholesale Market. They tell us that tons of perfectly edible produce are being discarded because they no longer look good enough to be displayed at a shop. So with the help of 6 volunteers, 8 parents at our child development centre distributed half a ton of vegetables comprising potatoes, cauliflower, brinjal, kangkong, capsicum and onions. Every child from our centre would probably have had a fair share of vegetables at home but the gift was enough for those living at the 2 rental housing blocks next to our centre as well as some 50 households 2 kilometres away. After, everyone who came by had their share, a parent loaded the remainder onto his truck and sent it to them.

That afternoon, these 8 parents taught their children and others in our centre an important lesson in preventing food waste. Importantly, they also demonstrated how a little sharing uplifted spirts and strengthened relationships among people. How the little we have can become much and multiplied in profound ways for a stronger community.

Values are caught and not taught, and parents are invaluable co-educators at our child development centre. A couple of days after this food distribution exercise, when more than 50 children were feeling a little hungry during a day-out, they were served a hot meal prepared by their chaperones. These 4 parent-volunteers had anticipated the children’s need and decided to pool resources not just to feed their own children but all their classmates as well. Their gesture offered a lesson on the value of thoughtfulness, generosity and cooperation; one where the children and we ourselves will remember for a long time.

Enjoy your weekend.
Gerard
Giving frees us from the familiar territory of our own needs by opening our mind to the unexplained worlds occupied by the needs of others. – Barbara Bush

PAST AWB POSTS

Another Week Beyond 2429 – An Experience of Connectedness and Contentment

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Another Week Beyond – 2427

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Another Week Beyond – 2423

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PAST AWB POSTS

Another Week Beyond 2429 – An Experience of Connectedness and Contentment

by: Chia Jie Min, Community Worker  Last Tuesday evening, Lisfah, our community enabler, and I set up our usual table at the student care centre for the monthly “tabung” (savings) programme at Lengkok Bahru. We waited with anticipation for the usual buzz of mothers dropping in to sit with us, chat and swap stories about community happenings.   That particular day, however, many mothers could not attend. So, it was unusually quiet. Lisfah was looking a little forlorn as she was looking forward to catching up with her neighbours. She always found her conversations with them comforting as they reassured her

Read more >

Another Week Beyond 2428 – The Making of a Youth Leader

By: Nina, Community Relations I met Atiqah ten years ago when I was a Community Worker. It was at a photography workshop we had organized for youths. She was a shy, soft-spoken 16-year-old. Her family had only recently moved in, so she didn’t know any other youths in the neighborhood yet. Throughout the few sessions we held, she mostly kept to herself, except when she offered to help me with minor tasks. Despite her discomfort being around others, she always showed up when invited to our programmes. I always admired Atiqah’s quiet determination and was pleased to see her slowly

Read more >

Another Week Beyond – 2427

No Wealth, No Health? Written by: Pei Ling, Community Relations How often do you find yourself in this situation? You’re unwell or in pain, and it’s been going on for while. But you choose not to see a medical practitioner because you feel you cannot afford it. This is a common scenario amongst Singapore’s financially-challenged – families living in rental public housing. And this is what happened to Ismail. When I visited Ismail on a routine follow-up, he was limping and clearly in pain. He told me he had a slipped disc. I asked about the medical treatment he was

Read more >