Food waste in Singapore and how to donate to a food bank

Food Bank and Food Waste
16th October marks World Food Day, bringing awareness and driving action to help those 842 million people around the world who are chronically undernourished.

16 October marks World Food Day, and we think we can all agree that most of us don’t give too much thought about how much food waste we are creating on a daily basis, and just how fortunate we are when it comes to having fully loaded cupboards and fridges. We constantly search for great family-friendly dining options, only to think nothing of leaving the discarded free kids’ meals because they were, well, free. Going to the supermarket to stock up on our fave goodies is taken for granted, and the odd splurge on a spiffy Champagne brunch a given. We are SO lucky.

And yet there are 842 million people in this world who are chronically undernourished, while a further 2 billion are suffering from micronutrient deficiencies. A startling statistic made all the more shocking by the fact that 1.3 billion tonnes of unconsumed food is wasted each year. This is a HUGE global issue, but as with saving the planet, reducing plastic waste and doing our bit to conserve water, if we fortunate souls ALL make small changes, baby steps at a time, collectively we can absolutely make a difference. We’ve been taking a look at how we can stop food waste and start donating to  The Food Bank here in Singapore…

In a country as passionate about food as Singapore, it’s high time we talked about the major problem of food waste. Here on the Little Red Dot, 788,600 tonnes of food goes to waste each year – that’s an astounding 108 double decker bus loads of food waste every single day! Meat, fruit, veggies – all in the bin. But what is the solution?

Love your leftovers

Food Bank

Turn your leftovers into dinner for the next day: just add some noodles or rice to mix things up!

Portion control is key when it comes to cooking up a storm in the kitchen. We’re all cooking too much food in the first place, and we’re guilty of throwing away perfectly good leftovers. Extra roast chicken, for example, can be turned into a fresh, healthy salad or sandwiches for the family the next day (try this great recipe for an easy roast chicken salad). We all need to start getting inventive with our leftovers rather than stuffing them in the fridge with vague good intentions that soon turn into a pungent out-of-date smell. And don’t forget that the freezer can be your best friend. Freeze it, people!

It’s all in the planning

Plan ahead and get portion control sussed. If you are a family of five, don’t cook for a family of 20! If we all cooked what we needed for those at the dinner table, as opposed to over-catering, then we would not only save money, we’d also see a whole lot less food waste going into landfill each month.

Head to The Food Bank – and how it works

Those rows of tins and dried goods you have stockpiling in the cupboards? It’s time to donate them to The Food Bank Singapore! This wonderful charity was created in 2012 and now supplies around 200 beneficiary organisations – including soup kitchens, family service centres, schools with children from low-income families and senior activity centres – with food rations and meals each day. The charity works tirelessly to collect surplus food to pass to people in need of feeding, while also working towards reducing Singapore’s food wastage problem. Food donations generally come from individuals, manufacturers and retailers, and The Food Bank gives these unwanted, discarded goods to those who really need it. Collections are sorted and stored in a central warehouse, and then distributed and delivered to beneficiaries all around Singapore.

Where to donate your canned and packaged goods

First things first: The Food Bank encourages people NOT to buy food specifically for donating. Its main objective is to use food that would otherwise be wasted and is probably already lurking in your cupboards. Canned and packaged food (including unopened chips, rice, powder drinks, cereals, etc) are all welcome, just check that they haven’t passed their expiry dates. Your excess food can be popped into Bank Boxes located island-wide:

East Locations

  • Giant Hypermarket Parkway Parade, Self-Checkout Area, 80 Marine Parade Road #03-27/30 Singapore 449269 (9am to 10pm)
  • The Food Pantry, 100 Sims Avenue, Singapore 387426 (10am to 10pm daily)
  • Viva Business Park, Level 1, 750 Chai Chee Road, Singapore 46900 (9am to 10pm daily)
  • OneKM Mall, 11 Tanjong Katong Road, #01-26/27 Singapore 437157 (11am to 9pm daily)

West Locations

  • National University of Singapore, Residential College 4, 6 College Avenue East, #01-01, University Town, Singapore 138614
  • Giant Hypermarket Grand Stand , Entrance 200 Turf Club Road #01-1 Singapore 287994 (Sun-Thurs: 9am – 10pm, Fri-Sat: 9am – 11pm)

North Locations

  • THK Chong Pang Social Service Hub, Blk 131 Yishun Street 11, Singapore 760131 (9am – 5pm)

Central Locations

  • City Square Mall, Level 2 (Beside Customer Service Counter), 180 Kitchener Road, Singapore 208539 (10am to 10pm)
  • Liang Court Shopping Mall, L2 Customer Service Counter, 177 River Valley Road, Singapore 179030 (10am to 10pm)
  • Forum The Shopping Mall, Level 2, 583 Orchard Road, Singapore 238884 (10am to 9pm)
  • 51 Cuppage Road, #01-06A Singapore 229469
  • Valley Point, 491 River Valley Road, Office Tower Level 1, Singapore 248371 (9am to 10pm)
  • Robertson Walk, 11 Unity Street #02-20A, Singapore 237995 (11am to 10pm)

South Locations

  • Quayside Isle, Sentosa Cove: B1, outside Management Office (10am to 10pm)
  • Giant Hypermarket Vivocity B2, beside the customer service counter (10am to 10pm)
  • Vivocity, Lobby N Level 3, Sentosa Concourse (10am to 10pm)
  • Chrysler Jeep Automotive of Singapore, 1 Chang Charn Road, Singapore 159630 (9am to 7pm)
  • Alexandra Point, 438 Alexandra Road, B1, next to the information counter Singapore 119958
  • Alexandra Technopark, 438B Alexandra Road, Block B Level 1, next to the childcare centre, Singapore 119968

Or bring them directly to The Food Bank warehouse at 39 Keppel Road #03-08, Tanjong Pagar Distripark, Singapore 089065 (email ahead of your drop off at enquiries@foodbank.sg or call 6831 5395 before you head over). The Food Bank warehouse is open Monday to Friday, 10am to 7pm and Saturdays 10am to 1pm.  

Now go plan your meals, sort out your cupboards and have a very happy World Food Day!

Like this story? Here’s more we think you’ll enjoy:
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How to recycle e-waste, appliances and electronics in Singapore
Get your kids into volunteering
Volunteer your time for a great cause at one of these charities
Adopt, don’t shop! Pet rehoming centres in Singapore

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