Local companies are stepping up to the plate and serving good food for a good cause. We spoke to three such establishments who are paying it forward and giving back to those who need it most. This is what they had to say:
BOXGREEN (Interviewee: Co-founder, Walter Oh)
How did Boxgreen come about?
It all began in 2014, when Andrew and I were working long hours at a bank. At night, shops would be closed and we had to rely on vending machines selling sugared peanuts and chocolate bars for snacks. We wanted to provide a service with a conscience – to deliver affordable healthier snacks of quality. That is why we started with the one-for-one model of donating a meal with every box sold.
What motivated the start of the “One Box, One Meal” initiative?
We believe that the potential to help others is huge. Together with our customers, we’re transforming the seemingly insignificant purchases of snacks into a force for good; one box purchased, one meal contributed to the poor.
Since then, we’ve provided over 13,300 meals via Willing Hearts, a soup kitchen. Boxgreen also visits Willing Hearts regularly as part of our team building activity. We have fun and at the same time, we are doing good!
Can you tell us more about it?
We want to help the less privileged get the nutrition they deserve as well. When customers purchase a box of healthy snacks, we not only give a meal to the less privileged through Willing Hearts Kitchen, we also give our time by helping out in preparation and distribution work. Hence, every purchase is significant and can make a difference.
Future plans for BoxGreen and the “One Box, One Meal” initiative
We are working to expand on our slogan “snack good, do good” by expanding our social mission to more than just giving, to include providing employment opportunities to the less privileged as well as sourcing for sustainable supplies and packaging.
For further information: https://www.boxgreen.co/
BETTR BARISTA (Interviewee: Founder, Pamela Chng)
How did Bettr Barista come about?
We simply wanted to make specialty coffee accessible to more communities and barista training accessible to more people who want to pursue a career in specialty coffee, regardless of their background.
How many people do you think the organization has helped throughout the years?
As of end 2016, 65 youth-at-risk and underprivileged women have been put through the Bettr Holistic Training Programme. With half a million dollars in salaries generated, our impact extends to supporting over 165 dependents of our trainees. We hold our social mission at the heart of every decision and as a result, our social impact is amplified across all our stakeholders.
What motivated the start of Mobile Carts for Community?
Coffee - it's the world's favourite drink and it brings people together. We believe that everyone deserves to enjoy a great tasting cup of coffee that's well made, and you shouldn't necessarily have to pay an arm and a leg for it.
Could you tell us more about Mobile Carts for Community?
Our coffee carts are micro-enterprises that combine all the elements in the Bettr Barista ecosystem, and extend their impact beyond our Academy. Each of our carts is operated by internationally certified alumni from Bettr Barista Coffee Academy, including enterprising graduates from our Holistic Training Programme, which empowers youth-at-risk and underprivileged women.
We have 3 carts located at the Income Centre (Bras Basah), Khoo Teck Puat Hospital and MSF Building (Thomson Road).
Future plans for Mobile Carts for Community & Bettr Barista
We’re very fortunate in having a very talented and dedicated crew all around, in fact, one of our trainers, Natasha, recently clinched 4th and Top Female in the world during the ‘World Coffee In Good Spirits Championships’ in Budapest. We’re also constantly working on offering coffee classes/certifications, fun workshops and other learning experiences for the public, corporates and schools.
For further information: www.bettrbarista.com/
Communeaty - Food Canvas