Woodlands Kopitiams Give Away Free Meals To The Needy With A Pay-It-Forward App

For low-income families, especially those with many mouths to feed, putting food on the table can be a daily struggle.

To provide free meals to the needy, People’s Action Party’s (PAP) Member of Parliament (MP) for Sembawang GRC Mariam Jaafar has launched an app called “Belanja-a-meal@Woodlands (BAM)”.

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How it works is after buying a meal at one of the 4 participating coffee shops at Woodlands, customers can opt to pay a little more through BAM so that the needy can claim a free meal.

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Pay a little more to feed the needy

Launched on 4 Oct, the word belanja means ‘to treat someone to something’ in Malay.

Ms Jaafar wanted to make it easy for the needy to have the most basic things such as food.

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When a customer buys food from any of the 20 participating stalls at 4 coffee shops in Woodlands, they can choose to donate a small amount through the BAM app.

3 of the coffee shops are located at Woodlands North Plaza and one is at Blk 806.

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Anyone in need with a BAM@Woodlands card can then redeem a meal for free at the stalls.

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More than $7,800 raised & 517 meals claimed

In an update on 16 Oct by Ms Jaafar, she shared that she was heartened to see over $7,827.80 raised in donations thus far.

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She added that a total of 517 meals have been claimed. Besides that, 2 donors have contributed $1,000 each to this cause.

A new feature has made it easier for stalls to accept future donations as well. They can simply accept the contributions by logging into the app instead of scanning the QR code on their stalls.

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Community & digital innovation at Woodlands kopitiams

Though this initiative, the MP hopes to reach out to the needy in a time when many are struggling.

She believes this will also help the businesses at the stalls as customers will be encouraged to purchase a meal for a good cause.

However, the idea was to make it efficient and accountable too. That’s where digital innovation can be leveraged on by using a mobile app to facilitate the process.

We hope this will benefit the hawkers and residents abundantly at Woodlands and that the initiative can be developed to include other areas of Singapore.

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Featured image adapted from Facebook and Facebook.