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130720 - Places to get free food in Singapore

Never Go Hungry: Places to Get Free Food in Singapore

profileXue Miao

Some of us might think that in a country as wealthy as Singapore, nobody would go hungry.

However, research has shown that up to 30% of the population above 50 are either not eating enough, or not eating well enough.

To cater to this social need, initiatives have been rolled out for people who have difficulties getting their tummies full.

While these initiatives are usually targeted at the less fortunate, they do not discriminate and are mostly open to anyone who needs it.

For anyone who is going through a financially difficult time, these places could be helpful in filling your tummies.

TL;DR: Places to Get Free Food in Singapore

Community InitiativeFree Food for All (FFFA)Runs a Free Food Programme for those who need it
Food Rescue GroupsFacebook Groups or Telegram GroupsMembers post food items (and others) for anyone who needs it
Pay-As-You-WishReach Community Cafe

Paying any amount you could afford for a meal
Religious AssociationsBuddha Tooth Relic Temple

Central Sikh Gurdwara Board

Singapore Buddhist Lodge

Sri Krishna Mandir 

Thye Hua Kwan Moral Society
Free meals provided at these locations, including free meal centres

Free Food for All (FFFA)

Source: Free Food for All (FFFA)

A cohesive and strong community has to be built on the fact that food is readily available.

– Nizar Mohd Shariff, Founder of FFFA

Free Food for All (FFFA) started off in 2014 when they distributed food twice weekly at Darul Aman Mosque.

Over the years, this registered charity evolved into one that currently runs several programmes that provide free Halal meals for people of all races and religions.

Since 2015, Free Food For All has given out more than 320,000 meals.

This initiative focuses its efforts on the following groups of people:

  • Homeless individuals or individuals in interim housing
  • Low-Income Families
  • Aged and Differently Abled Communities
  • Anyone finding themselves under economic stress
  • Injured migrant workers

FFFA hopes to fulfil a basic human need for food, and by doing so, empower its beneficiaries to take action and raise themselves out of poverty.

Anyone can apply for the Free Food Programme to receive these benefits, and applications would be assessed on a case-by-case basis.

Food Rescue Groups

Source: SG Food Rescue | Facebook

Freeganism was a topic that blew up a few years back.

I remember feeling slightly appalled seeing one of the freegans scavenge through half-eaten food, but I applauded their commitment to sustainable living.

As the items rescued are usually too much to be consumed alone, these individuals started looking for platforms to share the love.

Since then, food rescue groups have been popping up as Facebook groups or even Telegram channels.

Food rescuers usually head to places like bakeries and wet markets, where large amounts of vegetables or breads would sometimes be recovered and given away.

Here are some groups which are dedicated to reducing food waste, with regular posts by its members:

Facebook Groups:

EqoCirqle, SG Barter Trade

Food Rescue Sengkang

Food Rescue Singapore

SG Food Rescue

Telegram Channels:

Food Rescue @ Events

Savour! Community

Pay-As-You-Wish Initiatives

Reach Community Cafe

Source: The Straits Times

Have you heard of the Ibasho House in Japan? (Super endearing, btw.)

Reach Community Cafe that runs in a similar vein.

It is a pay-as-you-wish cafe that is run by Reach, a charitable organisation that offers community support and services.

This cafe also aims to create a social space for seniors to make new friends and enjoy meals together, allowing a safe environment for them to engage with one another.

The volunteers are also seniors, and they operate as chefs and baristas at the cafe.

The menus are changed up every week too, creating new experiences for its customers.

Understanding that seniors might be more cautious with their spending, the cafe adopts a pay-as-you-wish system which removes the stress of having to pay for the food.

While this cafe is mainly targeted at senior citizens, it doesn’t shy away from the younger crowd too.

The cafe also welcomes donations, which would be helpful for any individuals who would like to pay it forward.

Location: Block 417, Bukit Batok West Avenue 4


Source: Quandoo

Annalakshmi is an Indian vegetarian restaurant which serves a mix of North and South Indian cuisines.

They have been serving the community with a pay-as-you-wish model for over 15 years, and have recently ramped up their efforts by providing free meals during Eid al-Fitr, as well as launching the Migrant Workers Meal Programme (serving more than 30,000 meals).

Talk about generosity.

While this restaurant doesn’t brand itself as one that gives out free food (but rather “Eat as you want, Give as you Feel”), it doesn’t discriminate if one does not have the means to pay for it.

The restaurant recently closed its branch at Amoy Street (after 14 years!), but the main branch at Central Square is still in service.

Location: Central Square #01-04, 20 Havelock Road

Religious Associations

Religious associations are also places that serve free food for the people who need it.

There are usually no strings attached for these meals, and they are usually being sustained by donations from the public.

Buddha Tooth Relic Temple

The Buddha Tooth Relic Temple provides free meals from 12.30pm to 5pm every day.

However, due to the current COVID-19 situation, only the main halls are open for worship, with the rest of the temple still currently closed.

Location: 288 South Bridge Road

Central Sikh Gurdwara Board

The Central Sikh Gurdwara Board manages and operates the daily running of Singapore’s Gurdwaras (Sikh Temples).

It provides free vegetarian lunches every day.

Location: 9 Jalan Bukit Merah

Singapore Buddhist Lodge

The Singapore Buddhist Lodge serves free vegetarian meals from 7am to 7pm, which essentially means that anyone can get all their meals covered.

Due to the COVID-19 situation, the Dining Hall is still currently closed.

Do keep a lookout for the easing of restrictions before heading there for a meal.

Location: 17-19 Kim Yam Road

Sri Krishna Mandir

The official Hare Krishna Temple in Singapore, Sri Krishna Mandir has an SKM Welfare Society branch that runs Food For Life, a free food distribution program since 2003.

Besides serving food for various senior care homes, they also run a centre at Geylang serving free food for the needy.

Future plans will see SKM Welfare Society move to a more suitable location that will house an eating hall to accommodate up to 1,000 people and a dedicated Food For Life walk in the outlet.

Location: No.9 Lorong 29 Geylang, #03-02, S388065

Thye Hua Kwan Moral Society

Thye Hua Kwan Moral Society is a non-profit voluntary welfare organization since 1978.

It currently has four Free Meal Centres which aims to ensure that nobody in need goes hungry.

These meal centres are unfunded and are operating on donations and fundraising efforts.

On average, the centres have served more than 55,000 meals a year.

Healthy meals are also served to ensure that

The locations of these centres include:

Telok Blangah Crescent – Blk 4 Telok Blangah Crescent #01-500 S090004

Toa Payoh – Blk 31 Lorong 5 Toa Payoh #01-663 S310031

Indus Moral Care – Blk 79 Indus Road #01-451 S161079

Macpherson – Blk 91 Paya Lebar Way #01-3023 S370091

Never Go Hungry: Places to Get Free Food in Singapore

Nobody in Singapore should go to bed hungry.

Thankfully, we have these social initiatives that could help put these hunger pangs at bay.

If you’re an individual who is fortunate enough to have the choice to make smarter personal finance decisions when it comes to food, or even one who camps for good food delivery deals.

You might like to look into these organisations and provide a financial helping hand by donating. 🙂

These organisations are usually unfunded and run on donations and fundraising efforts.

We can all do something to help make this world a better place. 💪

About Xue Miao
A millennial who is learning to adult. She doesn't believe in the rat race and hopes to live on a farm someday.
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