SPH Foundation Pledges its support for YWCA's new Meals-On-Wheels Programme for Children

The new Meals-on-Wheels for Children Programme started by the Young Women's Christian Association's (YWCA) was inspired by The Straits Times Saturday Special report "Poverty: Generation Next" published on 27 May 2006. It featured children who do not have enough to eat, many a time they skip dinner, drink tap water and go to bed early to keep their hunger pangs at bay. The YWCA Meals-on-Wheels for Children aims to ensure that children from low-income families in the Outram area get hot, nutritious evening meals delivered to their homes for free daily.

This Programme is the first of its kind as it is for children whereas current Meals-on-Wheels programmes run by Voluntary Welfare Organisations serve only needy senior citizens

Started on 31 July 2006 with 80 children aged six to twelve years old from Zhangde Primary School, Queenstown Primary School and Beyond Social Services, Meals-on-Wheels for Children is considering extending the Programme to other schools around the Outram area. The YWCA hopes to reach out to 100 needy children by December 2006 and 200 by the end of 2008.

Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) Foundation Limited has generously donated $50,000/- towards the purchase of a meals delivery van for the Programme. Dr Robert Loh, Director of the SPH Foundation said, "Currently, the existing Meals-on-Wheels programmes are only available to serve the elderly. Young children also need nutritious meals to keep them alert for learning and for play. With the SPH Foundation's sponsorship of a dedicated vehicle for this programme, we hope to assist YWCA in reaching out to more needy children so that they can concentrate better on their studies and also have fun."

Ms Nurshedah Kamsani, Beyond Social Services 'Life Programme' Manager, mentioned that the children at their centre are truly "hungry no more." These children look forward to the delivery of the dinners as they know that the food will be able to fill their stomachs. In fact, some of the children wrote their names on the styrofoam boxes so that they can bring home some of the food for their mothers. Ms Nurshedah also noted that 80% the children are now more alert and can concentrate better in their studies after having the regular dinners.


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