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Social Impact & Safety

12,000 Students to Benefit from CDC Student Meals Scheme

Part of Singapore Together Movement

14 APRIL 2020, SINGAPORE – More help is on the way for some 12,000 students from low-income families staying in rental blocks during the circuit breaker period in Singapore.

Singapore Together

At the recent Supplementary Budget 2020 round-up speech, Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat called forth individuals and corporates to step forward to support Singaporeans in need in the spirit of Singapore Together.

Led by the Mayors, their five Community Development Councils (CDCs), being the Aggregator of Community Resources on the ground, are mobilising and tapping on collective energies and ideas of their strong network of partners to help the vulnerable in the community.

“CDC Student Meals Scheme” Announcement

The CDCs are partnering Dr Tahir, a philanthropist, as well as Grab Singapore, to launch the CDC Student Meals Scheme, on 14 April 2020.

The Scheme is targeted at primary and secondary school students living in units under the Public Rental Scheme. The aim is to help these families to defray the cost of buying meals while the students are on home-based learning (HBL) during the circuit breaker period. Eligible students will be given e-vouchers, in the form of GrabFood vouchers, to buy meals from over 7,000 participating food merchants in Singapore. The Scheme harnesses the use of technology to promote social distancing. This is also aligned to the CDCs’ effort to encourage more people to embrace the Smart Nation initiative through utilising technology to better serve residents’ needs.


A total of $660,000 will be set aside for the CDC Student Meals Scheme.

Dr Tahir, a Singapore Permanent Resident and founder of Mayapada Group, donated $300,000 to this scheme. The CDCs will match dollar-for-dollar this donation with another $300,000. In addition, Grab is also contributing $60,000[1] to the Scheme.

Community Support Powered by Technology

The Scheme is powered by Grab’s platform, where Grab will help CDC disburse the vouchers to eligible students who can offset their costs of meals at eligible GrabFood merchants (See Annex A for food items available). Grab’s wide merchant base (including those providing Halal food) and consumer reach will make it easy for students to get their vouchers and benefit from this Scheme.

100% of the funding received will be converted into CDC-branded GrabFood vouchers for the scheme. Eligible students will each receive $55 to order and pick-up hot meals from neighbouring merchants with a self pick-up option on the GrabFood app during the circuit breaker period. The students can pre-order their meals with the self-pickup option and collect it when it is ready. It will also help the students to avoid queues and limits their time spent outside home during this HBL period. This Scheme also aims to improve business demand for heartland food merchants via self pick-up.

Quotes from Mayors and Partners

Ms Low Yen Ling, Chairman of Mayors’ Committee and Mayor of South West District

“This whole-of-community response from a philanthropist, a private sector company and the five CDCs to support needy children from rental blocks comes at a crucial time when many lives and support systems are disrupted due to COVID-19. This spirit of solidarity is Singapore Together in action. We’re pooling together our resources and tapping on technology to bolster our community, and to help needy children from rental blocks access decent meals. Each child matters. During this challenging time when they are missing the support and familiarity of school, we want them to know that they are not alone, there are people who care, and the community is rallying behind them. The CDC Student Meals scheme aims to boost food security for low-income children living in rental blocks especially during this time of home-based learning. We hope that it will also bring relief to their parents as they try to cope during this challenging time.

In addition, heartland F&B businesses on the Grab network will receive a boost from this initiative with the island-wide participation of all five CDCs in this scheme.”

Dr Mohamad Maliki Bin Osman, Mayor of South East District

“This is a very trying time for Singaporeans. Many are affected by the COVID-19, especially families living in rental blocks with young school-going children. Their children may need more help and support during this period that they are at home. We hope that this meal programme will ease the financial burdens of these families and provide good nutritious meals for their children as they continue to participate well in their Home-Based Learning. The collaboration with GrabFood with its 7,000 participating merchants, which includes those who provide Halal food, provides sufficient variety and access to meet the various dietary needs of our children”

Dr Teo Ho Pin, Mayor of North West District

“The CDC Student Meals scheme provides timely relief to needy students to ease the hardship caused by unforeseen COVID-19 circumstances. Through this altruistic ground-up contribution and with the collective efforts of 3Ps, including our CDC volunteers, we are able to complement the national efforts to help residents in need. It shows a greater sense of community ownership amidst this circuit breaker period. The meal scheme will enable needy students to purchase food at 7,000 GrabFood merchants near their homes”

Ms Denise Phua, Mayor of Central Singapore District

“The COVID-19 circuit breaker measure is a national essential that all of us should support. Some residents will have more challenges than others during this period but together, we must ensure that no one is left behind. The CDC Student Meals scheme
for students in need will help ensure that our young ones will not go hungry as they stay at home especially during this home-based learning season. I urge the rest of Singapore to help the CDCs look out for our more vulnerable students and ask them to
sign up for this free meals initiative. We can beat this COVID-19 ‘storm’ and emerge in victory if we support one another and do not lose faith. We can only be stronger together.”

Mr Desmond Choo, Mayor of North East District said

“The COVID-19 outbreak has presented teething challenges to Singapore and Singaporeans. Many residents have been affected by this major disruption especially for those with less disposable income or have been displaced from their job. However, all is not that gloomy and this outbreak will certainly bring out the best of Singapore – how we are able to come together as One and look after each other. Hence, I am deeply heartened and appreciative to see so many acts of kindness during this difficult period as there are still many individuals like Dr Tahir and corporate organisations such as Grab who have stepped forward to work with Government agencies like the CDCs to ensure that the basic well-being of the needy are being taken care of. On behalf of our residents – Thank you Dr Tahir and Grab for making the CDC Student Meals scheme possible.”

Dr Tahir, founder of the Mayapada Group

“The fight against COIVD-19 outbreak is like fighting a war. To win this war will require a concerted effort across government, companies and individuals and everyone has a responsibility to participate. I hope to play a part as a Singapore PR and contribute towards the Singapore community with this donation. I am glad that this sum of money will be put to good use by the Community Development Councils to benefit 12,000 children of low-income households.”

Yee Wee Tang, Managing Director of Grab Singapore

“COVID-19 has disrupted the lives of many, and has had a far-reaching impact on businesses, including ours. However, we recognise our reach and experience as a platform company can be used during these challenging times to help our community, especially those who may be harder hit than others. The CDC Student Meals Scheme is one of the many initiatives we have in place that extend help to the less fortunate while supporting our F&B businesses at the same time as we have waived commission fees for self pick-up orders during this period. We believe that as we stand united as a community, we can overcome this situation.”

Eligibility and Application

To qualify for the CDC Student Meals Scheme, the eligibility criteria are as follows:

  1. Students currently in Primary and/or Secondary Schools living in rental blocks; and
  2. Must be part of a households with at least one Singaporean Citizen staying in units under the public rental scheme.

Each eligible student will receive 11 GrabFood vouchers in $5 denomination to be used up to 31 May 2020. The vouchers must be utilised in full as no refund will be made for any unused value. See Annex B for details on how to sign-up. Annex C is a sample copy of the CDC GrabFood Voucher. Annex D is a step-by-step guide on how to redeem the GrabFood vouchers and Annex E is a guide on how to use the Grab App.

Sign-up period for this scheme is from 14 to 27 April 2020.

Eligible students may visit and use the district checker to find out which CDC they can write to:

Central Singapore CDC
North East CDC
North West CDC
South East CDC
South West CDC 

There is still a long way to go in our fight against COVID-19. The CDCs will complement and support the work of the Singapore Together movement in promoting social resilience by tapping on their strong network of corporate and community partners.

[1]The $60,000 is contributed by Grab’s COVID-19 Community Fund which includes voluntary donations by Grab employees that is matched dollar-for-dollar by Grab.


Annex A: List of food items available for self pick-up on GrabFood (Non-exhaustive)

Eligible students can choose to order the following items, which are available for self pick-up via participating GrabFood merchants:

  1. Chappathi set [Halal]
  2. Chicken Rice / Nasi Ayam [Halal]
  3. Congee (“Zhok”)
  4. Dim Sum
  5. Economic Bee Hoon set
  6. Fishball Noodles
  7. Hokkien Mee
  8. Hor Fun [Halal]
  9. Kaya Toast Set
  10. Mee Goreng [Halal]
  11. Mee Siam [Halal]
  12. Nasi Lemak [Halal]
  13. Prata [Halal]
  14. Wanton Noodles
  15. Yong Tau Foo

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