Half a million bowls of white and brown rice to be donated to needy families in the South East district
SINGAPORE, 18 November 2015 – NTUC FairPrice (FairPrice) announced today that it will extend its partnership with South East Community Development Council (CDC) in the annual FairPrice Walk for Rice @ South East initiative, for another three years. This is the seventh year that the two organisations, together with FairPrice’s business partners, have collaborated on the initiative.
FairPrice announced the extension of the partnership at the initiative’s closing ceremony following a successful one-month run of the campaign. The event was graced by Guest-of-Honour, Mr Tan Chuan-Jin, Grassroots Advisor to Marine Parade GRC GRO, Minister for Social and Family Development, and witnessed by Dr Mohamad Maliki Osman, Mayor of South East District, Grassroots Adviser to East Coast GRC GROs, Senior Minister of State for Ministry of Defence and Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Mr Seah Kian Peng, CEO of NTUC FairPrice said, “NTUC FairPrice and South East CDC have worked hand-in-hand over the years to bring the community together to contribute rice to families in the South East district. We are heartened to be extending this partnership for another three years which facilitates community bonding while helping the less fortunate in our midst. With the added contribution of brown rice, which we introduced last year in spite of its relatively higher price, we also ensure that the needy have access to healthier food choices through this initiative.”
Mr Tan Chuan-Jin shared, “This is a meaningful partnership between NTUC FairPrice and South East CDC. Walk for Rice is an easy and enjoyable activity that encourages widespread participation within the community which earns sponsorship for the needy. Every walk that was held encouraged bonding among the residents and community, and they are very willing to participate in the walk, knowing that this simple activity is helping their fellow neighbours and residents in the community.”
The joint efforts of participants and FairPrice Foundation, the charity arm of FairPrice, have resulted in Walk for Rice meeting its target every year since 2009. Since the project’s inception, 3.5 million bowls of rice have been donated and almost 180,000 residents have collectively walked about 435,000 km to support this cause. This is equivalent to walking almost 11 times round the earth.
For every 200 metres of walking completed from September to mid-November at various community activities or each participating product sold between 11 to 24 September, FairPrice Foundation donated one bowl of brown rice and one bowl of white rice to the initiative. This year, more than 20,000 individuals walked a total distance of over 57,000 kilometres and over 450,000 Walk for Rice promotional items were also purchased by FairPrice customers from a selection of over 36 participating products. Over 7,000 financially-assisted families identified by grassroots organisations that live in the South East District will receive the rice donations.
Apart from white rice, beneficiaries will receive brown rice as part of this year’s initiative, so that they can have access to healthier options. Brown rice is a type of whole-grain, and is high in vitamins, minerals and fibre due to its intact bran and germ.
“This marks the seventh year that FairPrice Walk for Rice @ South East has benefited the South East community. We have come a long way since its beginnings 7 years ago and we are committed to continuing this meaningful initiative for another three years. Walk for Rice has rallied together residents from various ages and socio-economic backgrounds, including those from private sector corporates, private estate neighbourhoods, schools, and community groups, for a good cause, encouraged the community to stay active, and raised millions of bowls of rice for those who would benefit from receiving this staple food. We thank NTUC FairPrice and our other community and corporate partners for their valuable partnership, and look forward to continued collaboration in the years to come,” said Dr Maliki.
The event marked the closing of Walk for Rice this year, where 500 participants, including staff parents and students from PCF @ Braddell Heights pre-schools, District Councillors and staff of South East CDC, grassroots members, social group Braddell Heights Brisk Walkers, Serangoon Moral Family Service Centre), residents and FairPrice volunteers, walked 850 km (1.7 x 500) collectively. Each participant poured a bowl of white and brown rice into separate buckets upon completion of the walk, to demonstrate the actual rice grains that would be given to beneficiaries from the community’s support through walking.
 Circumference of the earth: 40,075km. Total distance walked is 435,000 km.