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TAKING HEART

OCBC funds food packs for dialysis patients

Its Food from the Heart initiative provides healthy food options for the needy

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Food packs curated with food types suitable for dialysis patients in consultation with NKF dieticians. Distribution will start in October for 150 beneficiaries for eight months till May 2020.

Singapore

FOOD from the Heart (FFTH) on Thursday announced a curated monthly food pack under its Community Food Pack (CFP) programme to support needy dialysis patients from the National Kidney Foundation (NKF).

The CFP, benefiting more than 4,000 families, is a monthly food ration programme that is traditionally dependent on food donation from the public to build up its food inventory. Food pack contents thus vary monthly from pack to pack. For the first time, a food pack will be curated with food types suitable for dialysis patients.

The food pack will start its first distribution from the month of October 2019 for 150 beneficiaries for eight months till May 2020.

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OCBC Bank is funding the food packs under its #OCBCCares Programme which focuses on addressing gaps in society and fulfilling unmet needs.

As part of FFTH's initiative to donate right and give better, FFTH worked closely with NKF dieticians to curate wholesome food pack, including fresh produce suitable for dialysis patients such as eggs, selected fruits and vegetables.

Sim Bee Hia, CEO of Food from the Heart, said: "To be a truly beneficiary-centric charity, we constantly look for ways to enhance our programmes. Conversations with and feedback from our community partners and beneficiaries provide a strong foundation and a more in-depth understanding of dietary preferences, restrictions and patterns. Our team worked closely with NKF dieticians when curating the food pack, paying most attention to the special dietary requirements of the dialysis patients."

Since 2017, OCBC Bank has been sponsoring FFTH’s monthly distribution of one tray of eggs for each of the 3,200 needy families across Singapore. This initiative was introduced upon learning that many needy families cannot afford to pay for this food item. In addition, OCBC staff volunteers also participate in FFTH's food and egg distribution activities on a regular basis.

Ms Hia added: "In a recent poll and focus group discussion among our 60 community partners islandwide, almost all our community partners polled share that our beneficiaries find our community food packs useful. 47 per cent of those polled also requested a bigger food pack with more items so that the supplies can last them longer. We hope the curated packs will allow our beneficiaries undergoing dialysis peace of mind when they prepare their daily meals. "

Koh Ching Ching, OCBC Bank's head of Group Brand and Communications, shared: "We are happy to support Food from the Heart's initiative to provide healthy food options for the needy. This is especially important for individuals suffering from kidney failure, who need to consume food with high-quality protein as these produce less waste for removal during dialysis."

Tim Oei, chief executive officer of NKF, said: "Dietary requirement for dialysis patients is different from the general population as their kidneys are no longer functioning at its full capacity. The collaboration with Food from the Heart enables us to better support and care for our dialysis patients on their rehabilitative care journey, by ensuring that they get the right kind of food rations suitable for their diet, which had been selected in consultation with our dieticians."

To encourage healthy cooking efforts that make use of the food pack items, FFTH partnered with MasterChef Singapore finalist Shamsydar Ani to create four easy-to-follow recipes for beneficiaries using ingredients from the curated food packs.

These recipe cards will be added to the food packs and distributed to the beneficiaries in October.