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Monday, 21 July 2014

Food from the Heart

Donated $55 to Food From The Heart.

Food From The Heart (FFTH) was founded by an Austrian couple, Henry and Christine Laimer, who had made Singapore their second home for a good number of years. Christine’s motivation to find a win-win solution to ending bread wastage in Singapore, and the couple’s experience in the logistics field helped greatly in kickstarting the programme in 2002.

After many fruitful years in Singapore, and 8 years of watching FFTH blossom from a simple concept into the community force that it is today, the couple had to return to Vienna for good in November 2011 to take over their family business.

Leaving is never easy; however, it is made easier knowing that FFTH is in the hands of an able successor. Today, FFTH is managed by Mr Anson Quek (Executive Director), formerly a Board Member (Treasurer), who has been with the organisation since the beginning.

To reach out to the less-fortunate and brighten their lives by alleviating hunger through a food distribution programme and bringing joy through the distribution of toys and birthday celebrations.

The food collected by Food From The Heart goes to two primary groups of beneficiaries: homes, and needy families and individuals.

151 welfare homes and institutions such as children’s homes, senior citizens’ homes, Senior Activity Centres (located at the void decks of HDB blocks), handicapped homes and day care centres for children from troubled backgrounds, receive a daily bread supply from FFTH.

Needy individuals and families
Beneficiaries from this group are chosen through their respective school and Resident Committee networks. They are either single parent families with one parent either deceased, in prison or in drug rehab; single mothers; families with a member with costly, long term medical issues; or families with a breadwinner who is unable to work due to an accident or illness.

Through the information received via these channels, FFTH has discovered that the average per capita income in the participating households stands between S$0 – S$200, with many of them relying on handouts from friends and family.

Bread Distribution Programme
With the support of our volunteers and the generosity of bakeries and hotels around Singapore, unsold bread is collected on a daily basis to be distributed directly to the 151 welfare homes, children’s homes, senior citizens’ homes, senior activity centres and other needy families island-wide. FFTH’s volunteers have even taken on the initiative to send bread and goodies bags to homes of our elderly beneficiaries, especially if they are not able to move around well on their own.

Since FFTH’s bread distribution programme was launched in February 2003, we have had the privilege of reaching out to more than 14,000 beneficiaries around Singapore. With your help and support, we can touch the lives of so many more.

How You Can Help:-
  • Be a volunteer: To collect and distribute unsold bread from bakeries and hotels
  • Be a partner: To contribute to our average amount of 30,000kg of bread required per month
Self Collection Centres
Aside from catering to the needs of those staying in the welfare homes, FFTH recognizes the hardship experienced by those in the heartlands who may be struggling to make ends meet.

As an outreach to this key group of beneficiaries, the FFTH Self Collection Centres was established to help provide essential food items and other rations on a regular basis.

FFTH has 27 self-collection centres island-wide, which currently helps to support more than 4,000 needy beneficiaries by providing bread and non-perishable food items such as canned food, rice, oil, noodles and Milo.  Door-to-door deliveries are also provided for those who are handicapped or have difficulties walking.

How You Can Help:-
  • Be a volunteer: To help us distribute weekly food items to our beneficiaries
  • Be a contributor: To donate bread and non-perishable food items such as canned food rice, oil, noodles and Milo

Food Goodie Bag
The Food Goodie Bag programme started off as an ad-hoc distribution of donated food items and toiletries, but has since evolved into a regular monthly handout through Food Drives at various schools and corporations. Food goodie bags comprising of essential items like rice (10kg bag), cooking oil (2 litres), and canned food, are distributed to 50 of the neediest families in selected neighborhoods.

FFTH has also started the ‘Adopt a School’ initiative, through which contributors can regularly support 50 children recommended by a particular school through the provision of food goodie bags. Selected students will receive a monthly ration of essential items to help alleviate the financial burden of their families.

To be eligible for the ration, students must demonstrate good behavior and consistent attendance. This is important as FFTH believes that given the right environment and support, a good foundation can be provided for students to advance further in life.

In addition, parents of the respective students are required to collect the rations from the school, which creates an opportunity for the teachers to interact with the parents, and provide them with the necessary support.

How You Can Help:-
  • Be a contributor: To help provide monthly food items (standardized content) to 50 of the most needy families in selected neighbourhood schools

Birthdays From The Heart
FFTH believes that every person deserves the right to feel special, cherished and loved. What better way to demonstrate that, than on their special day!

Thanks to the generous support from various corporate sponsors since 2005, our birthday programme for 5 children’s welfare homes and 1 old folk’s home is now a permanent monthly event. Apart from conducting games and activities with the children and elderly folk, FFTH also provides gifts to those celebrating their birthdays that month. Volunteers from the sponsors are encouraged to participate in this programme, through which they can directly interact with the beneficiaries, and bring them more joy on their birthdays.

How You Can Help:-
  • Be a volunteer: To join us in celebration with the birthday kids of the month from 6 welfare homes
  • Be a sponsor: To commit in sponsoring birthday celebrations for one children’s welfare home for at least 6 months

Toys From The Heart
Toys always bring a smile to children’s faces, and joy to their hearts. They also make great gifts during the festive season, and deserving rewards at the end of the school term to those who studied hard!

Through FFTH’s annual Toy Buffet, we aim to do just that. Toys donated by schools and Corporations are given to needy pupils in neighbourhood schools during the Toy Buffet, a day filled with fun, games and food for our beneficiaries.

With approximately 5,000 toys given to over 2,000 children every year, we are most fulfilled knowing that we bring these children smiles, joy and a glimmer of hope.

How You Can Help:-
  • Be a volunteer/contributor: To help us collect gifts (toys in good condition) for the Toy Buffet and Christmas Parties

Contact Numbers
Tel: (65) 6259 7176
Fax: (65) 6259 7045

FFTH Office: 161B Goldhill Centre Thomson Road Singapore (307614) (next to United Square)

FFTH Warehouse: No. 52 Genting Lane #04-03A Ruby Land Complex Block 1 Singapore (349560)

Office Hours are from 9 am till 6 pm, Mondays – Fridays (Excluding Public Holidays)

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