Needy single-parent families in Jurong receive groceries, vouchers – Straits Times

7 September 2020  •  3 mins read


Bags of groceries being packed (above) to be given to beneficiaries such as Ms Nur Humaiza and her son, seen here receiving their pack from Senior Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam yesterday.ST PHOTOS: CHONG JUN LIANG

Getting by during the Covid-19 period as an unemployed single mum was already taxing for Ms Nur Humaiza, and she was dealt another blow when she and her son had to serve a 14-day quarantine order. Her seven-year-old had spent time with his father about a week before he tested positive for Covid-19. As a precautionary measure, she and her child had to be quarantined in their one-room rental flat in Jurong West.

“I felt helpless when I heard the news because there was no one to get food for us, and we felt really lonely as we frequently stayed over at my sister’s house,” she said.

Within a day, a social worker helping Ms Humaiza liaised with other organisations to deliver 50 packs of cooked meals and household items to her home. For a few years now, financial aid has been covering her rent and utility bills, and she receives $750 a month from ComCare. She has not worked since her son was born.

Her family was among 101 families who received $110 worth of groceries and $40 FairPrice vouchers from social service organisation Civilians Association of Singapore (CAS) yesterday. Most of the recipients are single-parent families living in Jurong, and more families in the area and other places will receive the grocery packs in the coming weeks.

The initiative was created mainly to support single parents struggling during the Covid-19 period. CAS members and the public contributed to an online fund-raiser for this initiative, and more than $23,000 has been raised, said CAS president M.P. Sellvem.

Ms Humaiza said the groceries will tide her over the next month while she focuses on her son’s medical expenses. A fifth of her $750 allowance goes to buying two cans of milk powder for her son, who needs the immunity boost as he has asthma, eczema and bronchitis.

Senior Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam, the organisation’s patron and the MP for Taman Jurong ward, dropped by Taman Jurong Community Club yesterday morning with his wife to greet the volunteers who packed the groceries.

CAS started as a club in the Public Works Department (PWD) quarters in Upper Bukit Timah in 1964.

Then known as the Hillview Civilians Sports Club, it was formed to keep young people in the neighbourhood away from social ills and get them involved in sports and other social activities. The club has since evolved into a registered charity that supports mainly single parents, seniors and young people.

Speaking to the media, Mr Tharman emphasised the organisation’s history.

He said “gangsterism and all kinds of problems were rife in the area”. The club organised activities such as football for young people and this helped them stay away from bad influences and become successful.

PWD workers, who lived in such quarters with their families, were involved in building and maintaining infrastructure.


Published originally from: Straits Times Newspaper, 7 September 2020


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