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The People's Association /
Posted 1 year ago

“If I can offer my time to rescue those fruits and vegetables, encourage healthy eating and drive awareness on food wastage by giving them to those who need it, why not?” shares Caroline Heng, a food rescue volunteer and resident of Punggol who frequently restocks the community fridge located at Punggol Drive with perfectly edible but cosmetically imperfect produce collected from Pasir Panjang Wholesale Centre (PPWC). The community fridge is an initiative supported by North E ast Community Development Council and various partners to reduce food wastage and encourage residents to eat healthily by adding more fruits and vegetables to their meal. Every day, tonnes of edible produce ranging from cabbages, bitter gourds, edamame, honeydews to star fruits are being discarded by the wholesalers or retailers due to mismatch in supply and demand or simply due to cosmetic reasons. “It is painful to know that so much edible food is going to waste when there are people in Singapore who can’t afford sufficiently nutritious fresh food and rely heavily on convenient cheaper alternatives like canned items which are high in sodium,” adds Azmi, Caroline’s husband. Most of the time, rescued food does not look pretty and volunteers need to sort out or peel away layers to make them more presentable. “We work with Daniel Yap, the founder of the Fridge Restock Community to transport these ugly fruits and veggies to the community fridge on an ad-hoc basis once or twice weekly. Sticker labels on the fridge encourage residents to take only what they need for a day so more of their neighbours can benefit from the programme,” adds Caroline. “I learnt about the programme from my neighbours. Since I am staying nearby and happened to be on my way to fetch my kids from school, I thought why not play my part for the community and spend some time to help with unloading and packing the food into the fridge?” shares housewife Yvette Ng. “I hope, as more effort goes into reducing food waste and as the fridges benefit more people, there will also be increased awareness on how reducing food wastage can help reduce the carbon footprint globally,” explains Caroline. #ACaringCommunity

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