Want to know how you can help those who struggle to put a hot meal on their dining tables daily? Start by reaching out to these groups.

 

Pastry Galore
8 years ago, Philomena Tee saw a friend struggling to support 4 young children after her spouse died of a brain tumour. A divorced and single mum of 2, the 51-year-old senior administrative assistant decided to use her widowed friend’s baking talents to start a pastry business which would provide jobs for other struggling and single-parent families. So Philomena founded Pastry Galore in 2000 with a few friends and family. Their baking sessions have also become a support group for the women, says Philomena. “We share stories about our lives. It’s a chance for them to say what they want without fear of being judged or ridiculed by others, while it’s an opportunity for me to encourage these women to be self-reliant.”

 

 

To order cakes from Pastry Galore (their chocolate walnut cookies are bestsellers!), call 9632-3855 or e-mail to contact@pastrygalore.com.

 

Willing Hearts
It hasn’t been easy for Willing Hearts, a charity group that has been giving out food and provisions to the less fortunate every day for the last 8 years. They pack food at the homes of volunteers as rent is too high elsewhere. There’s also increasing demand for meals by those who show up at the void decks where the volunteers hand out food. “There aren’t enough funds and volunteers,” says the group’s founder Tony Tay, a printer by trade. Take it from Eileen Lim, a sales executive who volunteers twice a week says, “Anybody can donate money to help the needy but not many can give their time. I tell myself to count my blessings that I have food on my table every day.”

If you would like to help out at Willing Hearts, call Tony at 9690-2086.

 

Annalakshmi
At this 24-year-old Indian vegetarian restaurant, diners decide how much they want to pay for their meals, going by founder Hindu monk Swami Shantanand’s philosophy of “eat as you want and give as you feel”. All proceeds go towards sustaining the Temple of Fine Arts – of which Annalakshmi is an offshoot – and funding classes and activities for needy students. The buffet is manned by volunteers like Serena Yogalingam, a 36-year-old lawyer who has been doing so for 12 years. “Although I feel fatigued the next day, I don’t see volunteering as a chore because in today’s busy world, we hardly do anything selfless.”

 

Annalakshmi is located at #B1-02 Chinatown Point Podium A, 104 Amoy Street and Lau Pa Sat Festival Market.

ACMI Soup Kitchen
The aim of ACMI Soup Kitchen is to provide newly arrived construction workers with proper balanced lunches for 6 months, before ACMI moves on to other work sites with new worker arrivals. 12 volunteers aged 40 to 80 gather at the old St Joseph’s Convent kitchen 3 times a week to cook 150 packets of rice, vegetables and a protein source like fish, egg or chicken. Menus are also planned to suit their diners’ tastes: spicy food if there are Indonesian, Thai and Bangladeshi workers, and non spicy fare for the Chinese

Sister Rosalind Chan of the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary who instigated the creation of ACMI Soup Kitchen, hopes for more resources so that the kitchen can operate 5 times a week.

“I want to do this more often because the volunteers and I feel happy whenever the supervisors tell us that the workers’ morale and health is better after we send the food to them,” she says.

To help the ACMI Soup Kitchen, call 6280-5424.