Now that dining in at hawker centres and kopitiams are not allowed during Phase 2 (Heightened Alert), many F&B establishments are offering delivery services themselves or in partnership with food delivery companies.
However, some older hawkers who may not be as tech-savvy remain offline and are especially affected by the lack of physical customers.
Hoping to shine a light on their predicament, food guru KF Seetoh took to Facebook on Wednesday (19 May) urging Singaporeans to support these hawkers in these difficult times.
He also reminded Singaporeans that wet markets – apparently less crowded than supermarkets – are great places to shop for fresh produce.
According to the Makansutra founder, many hawkers who are not online have been overlooked.
Even though the Government had extended aid in the form of rental rebates, that’s apparently not enough for them to stay afloat.
Given that they have fed many generations of customers, Mr Seetoh appealed for Singaporeans to support these “silent sufferers”.
Comparing them to our ageing parents, Mr Seetoh said that these hawkers might appear cranky, but they appreciate it whenever we patronise their stalls.
Hawkers in the CBD are apparently having it tougher than their counterparts in the heartlands. If you are among the minority who are still working from your office, patronising them certainly wouldn’t be the worst idea.
Over the coming days, Mr Seetoh will apparently be going around to showcase some of these “hawkers-disunited”. You can follow him on his journey via his Facebook page here.
Mr Seetoh also gave a shoutout to another bunch of hawkers — stall owners at wet markets.
Instead of joining the crowd at supermarkets, he urged Singaporeans to visit these stalls instead.
In addition to cheaper prices, Mr Seetoh said returning customers might even be able to reserve their desired cuts of meat.
Another group that Mr Seetoh felt deserves more attention are food delivery riders.
Delivery personnel ply long distances every day to bring customers their meals. The least we can do is to extend words of thanks — which come free of charge.
For those who are too “proud” to thank them in person, Mr Seetoh suggested simply leaving a note at the door.
He also made a request for netizens to create a ‘thank you’ template so shy people can print it and paste it on their doors.
As with all policies, measures put in place to curb Covid-19 transmission affect some more adversely than others.
We might not get to hear from these ‘silent hawkers’ often, but their suffering and hardship certainly shouldn’t be ignored.
We hope Singaporeans will answer Mr Seetoh’s plea and support the affected stalls during these difficult times.
Oh, and don’t forget to thank the men and women who deliver your meals directly to your doorsteps too.
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Featured image adapted from William Cho on Flickr, for illustration purposes only.
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