The Food Bank Singapore sources food for its network of beneficiary organizations. With the mission to end food inequality of all forms, the food distributed is vital for various food relief efforts such as community pantries, emergency food rations delivery, and daily meal programs. They have some 360 member beneficiaries and organizations spread across various demographics, including:
- Family service centers (FSCs)
- Various types of homes
- Soup kitchens
- Other voluntary welfare organizations (VWOs)
- Religious Establishments
- Schools with children from low-income families
As a non-profit organization and registered charity, they do rely on voluntary manpower in sorting and packing the donations received at their warehouse to help reduce staff costs. This enables them to then channel more towards the actual projects that directly benefit the beneficiaries.
With safe distancing measures in place, the Singapore LEWIS team was divided into three groups of 10 and split across different days to volunteer at the warehouse. Each group spent half a day at the warehouse either sorting or packing the donations.
Sorting the donations saw the team going through expiry dates, categorizing the food items based on type, weight, and halal-certification. The groups involved in packing were given the ask lists submitted by various beneficiaries to identify what is to be packed for them.
Not only did the team get hands-on exposure on the potential food waste issues in Singapore but also insights into how Food Bank has been contributing towards addressing food insecurity issues for the vulnerable communities