Going Hungry In Singapore, A Cheap Food Paradise | Special Report Part 1/2 (with MSF clarifications)

*Update: Clarifications from the Ministry of Social and Family Development have been added to the comments.

Singapore is famous for its cheap hawker food, including the cheapest Michelin-starred meal in the world. Why does hunger, or food insecurity, still exist in this city?


Food insecurity refers to the lack of reliable access to nutritious food due to financial constraints. But we found that it doesn’t exist only among the lower-income or the elderly poor.

In a two-part special, CNA Insider investigates the issue of hunger, and the efforts to address it in Singapore. WATCH Part 2: Feeding the hungry – and how to do it better

We spent months talking to recipients of food aid, and groups like The Food Bank Singapore, Free Food From All, Food From The Heart, Keeping Hope Alive, Willing Hearts, Volunteer Switchboard and SG Food Rescue.

UPDATE: Clarifications from the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF), which reached out to some of the profiles with their permission:
– (5:10-34) Income is not the sole criteria for ComCare assistance. Applicants’ needs are assessed holistically, such as food, financial debts, healthcare, employment, family-relationship issues, and housing needs. In Sam’s case, he approached the SSO in 2015 over rental assistance and declined to apply for financial assistance.
– (9:35-10:40) Azhar has to apply to extend his ComCare assistance every 3 months, because the period of assistance is aligned with the three-month duration of his medical certificates. He had last applied in late August 2019, and submitted his doctor’s memo (certifying him unfit for work) on Sept 25. His application was approved a week later, on Oct 3.
– (9:45-52) Most applications for assistance are processed in 2-4 weeks, once necessary documents are submitted. Almost all are processed within 6 weeks.

READ more: Why some are going hungry in a cheap food paradise

How you can donate or volunteer:
Food From The Heart:
Food Bank Singapore:
Free Food For All:
Willing Hearts:
National Volunteer and Philanthropy Centre:
TOUCH Community Services: To volunteer for Meals-On-Wheels delivery, call 68046565

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