So, yeah, I promised to tell you about J and Little E’s ‘Tomorrowland’ party. Well, after watching the movie, we had several discussions about how we can reduce World Suck and make an impact (no matter how small) on our society.
J and Little E were most concerned about world hunger and food wastage, and they asked if there were ways to move excess food away from landfills and give it to people who need it.
Well, I had a look around and found out that there are charities in the world that support the redistribution of food, and we have one such charity right here on our little island! Yay!
I was very pleased about finding The Food Bank Singapore. Although donating to World Vision is one way to help combat world hunger by targeting at-risk populations around the globe, I felt that it would also be meaningful to get J and Little E involved in helping our local community as well.
The Food Bank Singapore accepts donations of unused or unwanted surplus food and allocates it to the needy via a network of over 130 member beneficiaries such as soup kitchens, family service centres and other voluntary welfare organisations. They also run a Food Pantry which is a shop stocking consumable food that cannot be passed onto their member beneficiaries (because they have less than 2 months of shelf life), where individuals can purchase a variety of food items for a donation of S$1.
J and Little E went into our pantry first and found a bag full of items that we were unlikely to use by their sell by date. This was a pretty good start, but they wanted to do much more than bring a bag of food to a Food Bank Box.
This is where the ‘Tomorrowland’ party comes in. J and Little E decided to turn their birthday party into a food drive, so we sent out the following invitation to all our party guests:
This way, they were able to raise more support and awareness for the initiatives that they were most concerned about!
We tried our best to encourage our guests not to go out and buy more food, but to look through their pantries first. This way, J and Little E’s friends would also be involved in actively finding the food donations and reducing food waste within their households… and hopefully this would also open up the opportunity for conversations about world hunger and food wastage in other families besides our own.
All our party guests were really, really generous and the kids were so happy to see how much food they were able to collect! You can see in the picture below a snapshot of some of the food items that J and Little E collected during their birthday party food drive.
The next day, we drove down to the headquarters of The Food Bank Singapore to deliver the collected foodstuffs.
J and Little E helped to unload the car and place their donation onto a large pallet manned by one of the The Food Bank Singapore staff members who helped us to get all the food into the warehouse.
Inside the warehouse, there were boxes and pallets of donated food items waiting to be sorted by type and shelf life, then cleaned, neatly packed and stored away.
The Food Bank Singapore is only run by two full-time administrative staff, who are tiny young ladies who do everything from inventory taking to heavy lifting to managing deliveries, so they are highly dependant on volunteers to help them. They were very kind enough to take some time out of their busy schedule to bring us on a little tour of the warehouse and show us how things are run. Thanks, ladies!
As you might imagine, The Food Bank Singapore is desperately in need of volunteers, from drivers and delivery assistants, to chefs and food nutrition educators, to photographers and party planners! There’s all sorts of ways that a willing volunteer can help – and there is even a Junior Foodbankers Club for kids aged 5 years and up, to help encourage volunteerism.
As a Junior Foodbanker, kids will get a change to volunteer at the warehouse, participate in food drives and craft sessions, and have access to educational tours to farms, factories and wastage centres, as well as other volunteering opportunities at The Food Bank Singapore’s beneficiary centres or homes! Membership is completely free – just email firstname.lastname@example.org to register.
I’m really proud of J and Little E for organising their very first food drive and for becoming Junior Foodbankers – and I hope they will continue to work at making the world more awesome!
Even the tiniest of actions can change the future. – Tomorrowland (2015)