SINGAPORE, 26 October 2021 – Today, NTUC FairPrice (FairPrice) launched its signature community initiative, FairPrice Share-A-Textbook Project. In its 39th year, the project returns with the aim to help low-income families alleviate their financial burden by providing free pre-loved textbooks. Besides reaching out to needy families which is even more crucial during unprecedented times, it also promotes environmental sustainability through reusing and recycling of textbooks.
This year, 81 selected FairPrice stores including Warehouse Club, FairPrice Xtra hypermarkets, FairPrice Finest stores, selected supermarkets, and FairPrice Xpress outlets at Esso service stations will serve as donation drop-off points from today (26 October) to 30 November 2021. Over 2,100 volunteers from community partners and schools, along with FairPrice staff and members of the general public, have also signed up to assist in collecting, sorting and organising textbooks. This is the highest number of volunteers the project has attracted since it was introduced 39 years ago – a 20 per cent increase compared to last year which saw the participation of over 1,800 volunteers.
As an extension of this initiative, FairPrice is also launching the Food, Innovation and Technology (‘FIT’) Hackathon where students from secondary schools and tertiary institutions are invited to explore three broad themes and co-create innovative enterprise and community solutions that tackle issues around lowering carbon emissions, reducing waste and encouraging community sharing. Held in a hybrid format over three days, the students will develop their proposals with guidance from a panel of industry experts. Winning proposals will be awarded with cash prizes of up to $10,000. More information on the hackathon can be found via the link: www.fpgfithack.com.sg.
Mr Seah Kian Peng, Group CEO, FairPrice Group, said, “We continue to infuse fresh ideas to this signature community sharing initiative to ensure it remains relevant in serving society needs. This year, we are incorporating a Food, Innovation and Technology (‘FIT’) Hackathon, to engage and empower the youths towards making a positive impact on our environment. We encourage them to develop innovative ideas on sustainability issues so that together we can play our part for the environment and promote sustainable living.”
The launch was held at Our Tampines Hub and officiated by Mr Chan Chun Sing, Minister For Education, and attended by Mr Seah Kian Peng, Group CEO, FairPrice Group along with key community partners of the initiative.
Since its inception, FairPrice Share-A-Textbook has collected, redistributed, and recycled over 6 million textbooks. This year, FairPrice is calling for the continued support from members of the community to donate their used textbooks at the designated collection points. (For a full list of collection points, please refer to the Appendix below).
Strict safety measures in place to ensure the well-being of volunteers and members of the public
To ensure the safety of the public and volunteers, various measures will be introduced to adhere to safe distancing measures. These measures include safe entry for contact tracing, checking of vaccination status, regular temperature taking, providing gloves and hand sanitizers to volunteers, limiting the number of volunteers per area, and implementing a booking system of time-slots to facilitate the collection of books.
This year, the textbooks collection area will be divided into three zones with a cap on the total number of people – including beneficiaries, members of the public and volunteers – allowed into each zone at any given time. Forms for the pre-booking of collection time slots will be made available for beneficiaries under the priority scheme and the public – a total of 10 hourly collection time slots are available each day, and each booking limits a total of two pax for collection of textbooks. (For more information, please refer to www.fairpricegroup.com.sg/do-good/faqs/#share-a-textbook or email (email@example.com). High-touch surfaces within the collection zones will also be sanitised after the end of each session.
FairPrice will work with social service organisations and Community Development Councils (CDCs) to shortlist students from low-income families, or families who have been impacted by the Covid-19 situation, where they will be given priority to collect textbooks before access is given to the general public. The books will be available for the public to collect from 11 to 15 December 2021 at Our Tampines Hub. The number of distribution days will extend from two days in previous years to five days to facilitate collection of books in adherence to Covid-19 safety measures.