Spd And Caltex Launch Groceries For Charity Project To Help Financially Disadvantaged Families With Physical Disabilities

Singapore, 29 July 2005 – The Society for the Physically Disabled (SPD) and Caltex today announced the launch of Groceries for Charity, a community project which will see Caltex employee volunteers deliver groceries to financially disadvantaged families with physical disabilities.

The project is jointly developed by Caltex and SPD, and supported by Singapore Compact. It will help to address two key needs of such families – food and mobility. The door-to-door grocery delivery will supplement the families’ need for basic foodstuffs beyond their usual grocery supplies. It will also alleviate the inconvenience of having to buy the groceries themselves.

Under this project, more than 100 Caltex employees will spend half a day each, to deliver supplementary groceries to all 116 families on a monthly basis throughout the island. The 116 families are identified by SPD and include those with disabled children or disabled parents. SPD, with the help of a nutritionist, has also assessed the needs of these families and developed a grocery list which can best meet their daily and nutritional needs.

Groceries for Charity is also supported by Caltex’s partners, Nestle Singapore (Pte) Ltd; Goh Joo Hin Pte Ltd; Maxwill Foodlink Pte Ltd; and Tong Seng Produce Pte Ltd, who will sponsor some grocery items for 12 months.

Over time, SPD and Caltex hope the door-to-door grocery delivery service builds relationships between the employee volunteers and the families that they visit and befriend.

Mr See Cher, President, SPD said, “Caltex has an established relationship with us and through their contributions towards the SPD Education Programme, helped see more than 600 students from primary to tertiary levels complete their education. We are heartened that they have decided to grow the relationship and put in the effort to sit down with us to understand how they could further contribute meaningfully and meet the needs of our clients. Bringing groceries to the doorstep of these disadvantaged and disabled families is so meaningful and relevant to our clients.”

Mr Bob Hakim, Vice President, Asia Pacific, Chevron Corporation, said, “Caltex has always enjoyed a good working relationship with SPD and we feel that the time is right now to take this relationship a step further by getting more directly involved. The project, on top of our existing contributions to the SPD Education Programme will see our employee volunteers offer time, effort and expertise. Employee volunteerism is definitely more enriching and meaningful for us than just writing a cheque.”

Mr Hakim added, “Caltex is in the business of providing energy. With Groceries for Charity, we hope to contribute in a small way, by providing the financial resource and the human energy to help the SPD clients get on with their journey to achieving bigger things in their life.”

A beneficiary of the project is 15-year old Teo Keng Fatt, who suffers from Becker’s Muscular Dystrophy, but has to play the role of a caregiver to his weak mother. Becker’s Muscular Dystrophy is an inherited disorder characterised by slowly progressive muscle weakness of the legs and pelvis. Despite his own disabilities, Keng Fatt takes on some of the domestic responsibilities in the house and does the family’s grocery shopping.

When told about the project, Keng Fatt said, “I am very happy to know that there are people out there who will help out with groceries. I sometimes have problems lugging things home as I have to use my crutch with one hand and carry the food with the other, while climbing the stairs.”

Ms Angela Chung, a social worker with SPD added, “Door-to-door delivery services of grocery supplements on a regular basis is meaningful as it provides the families with groceries instead of ready-cooked meals, which will give them a sense of control over what they cook and eat, and the ability to exercise their own creativity and introduce variety to their meals, an important step in developing their self-confidence.”