Beng Who Cares Foundation Has Spent Over S$15K On Free Meals
Even in the middle of the circuit breaker – the equivalent of Singapore’s Covid-19 lockdown – charities, social enterprises and individuals have continued to push forward in their efforts to help the needy.
In fact, during this time, charities saw an increase in the number of people who needed help.
Nizar Mohamed Shariff, of the nonprofit Free Food For All, told the Straits Times in April that the number of households asking for help had increased from “100 to around 1,200 per month.”
While these charities have continued to offer aid, some have launched whole new initiatives to bring some relief to the needy.
Jason Chua and Hung Zhen Long, co-founders of Beng Who Cooks were part of this group.
Beng Who Cooks started in 2018. It is a hawker stand located at the Hong Lim Food Center, which sells affordable protein bowls.
During the period of the pandemic, the two young founders launched the Beng Who Cares Foundation to provide meals to anyone in need.
No questions asked policy
The Beng Who Cares Foundation provides free meals to anyone who cannot afford to pay for them during this difficult time.
In an interview with Vulcan Post, Jason shared that the duo wouldn’t be probing – “all anyone has to do is ask, and we’ll deliver the food to them to get through this difficult time.”
The initiative began on April 6, just one day before the start of the circuit breaker measurements.
Jason told Official NYPTV that a friend of his told him a story, about a homeless man asking for money. When the man got 2 dollars he went to buy himself Goreng Pisang (banana fritters) and a cup of coffee.
“We both [Zheng Long and Jason] have been poor in our life before. We know what it does, so we don’t want anyone to feel what we are feeling, ”Jason said.
Less than 12 hours after the incident, the Beng Who Cares Foundation was launched and the initiative went viral overnight.
Interestingly, the duo asked the audience not to send them cash donations and instead focus on getting the message out to those they can benefit from.
Motivate and gain motivation from those they have helped
Zhen Long shared that there was a homeless man who had received help from the duo.
He later stepped forward to tell them he wouldn’t need free food anymore, as the duo had inspired him to get back on his feet and find a job.
Likewise, Jason told Vulcan Post that this incident was what he believed to be one of the foundation’s biggest successes.
“He actually motivated us more than we motivated him because it was something we hadn’t planned on,” said the 28-year-old.
The work of the Beng Who Cares Foundation has caught the attention of larger organizations like Volkswagen.
The German automaker loaned the duo the Golf, which facilitated mass deliveries – they were able to receive and deliver at least 30 orders in one go.
Since the start of the initiative, the Beng Who Cooks Foundation has distributed a total of 2,500 to 2,700 meals.
They have since also spent a total of S $ 15,000 on this initiative.
Navigate past the pandemic and beyond
According to Jason, the list of beneficiaries of the Beng Who Cooks Foundation is currently “quite short”, and beneficiaries will have to collect the food themselves.
Jason shared that they decided to stop their delivery services after two months. Some people scolded them or blocked them, but for financial reasons the move was necessary.
When asked how the business has changed since Phase 2 began, Jason compared it to three years ago when they started.
However, the Beng Who Cooks is still optimistic as the company is “still in business”.
“The drop in activity cannot be compared to that of the breaker period.”
While he feels that the financial situation could be “depressing” during this time, he is determined to “keep moving forward and not back down”.
“Beng Who Cooks will always be Beng Who Cooks – honest, loud, hardworking.”
Featured Image Credit: Beng Who Cares via Instagram
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