SINGAPORE: A unique SG50 project has brought out the spirit of giving in Sembawang GRC, an act which National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan said exemplifies Singapore's "kampung spirit".
Called the SG50 Green Harvest Project, about 760 kilogrammes of vegetables were grown in community gardens and schools for about six weeks and then distributed to those in need.
The harvest exceeded the initial target of 500kg.
MAXIMISING THE HARVEST
After honing their little green thumbs, primary school students Jaslyn and Hafiz proudly presented the fruit of their labour to guest-of-honour Minister Khaw Boon Wan on Sunday (Apr 12).
Growing vegetables such as chye sim and ladies' fingers was hard work for the 20 young gardeners from Marsiling Primary School.
"We had to loosen up the soil, which was hard, and after we transferred the plants from the seedling and into the soil, we had to water it twice a day," said Jaslyn, a Primary 4 student at Marsiling Primary School.
The students also got some technical help from the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA), such as which plants to grow and how to ensure plants were given adequate nourishment.
For the 140 gardeners across 15 community gardens, it was about ramping up efforts and maximising the harvest.
"Normally we give it to the neighbours around us, passers-by,” said one of the SG50 Green Harvest Project gardeners, Mdm Salbiah Osman. “But this time, not the neighbours, because since we knew this project was going on, we wanted to make it a success and share what we planted to those really in need of vegetables."
On Sunday, 250 low-income families received 1kg of vegetables together with groceries. Another 250kg were distributed to voluntary welfare organisations in the area.
The Man Fut Tong was one of the nine voluntary welfare organisations (VWOs) to have received the harvested donations, such as spinach, radish and corn.
"We usually depend on walk-in donations,” said Senior Executive of Materials Management Cecilia Loo from Man Fu Tong Nursing Home. “We also have donors who donate in bulk, but for vegetables - actually at times they find it difficult - because vegetables are perishable. So for this event, it's very good. The 100kg of vegetables can last us for about two to three days."
In a Facebook post on Sunday, Mr Khaw said that he was touched by the "dedication and passion of our community gardeners".
"They were united for a common purpose: To grow and share the fruits of their labour with the community," he wrote. "We all had a meaningful Sunday."
Organisers say the remaining vegetables will be donated to other low-income residents in the GRC.