Mr Nizar’s aspirations, hopes and dreams for the future
I am Nizar and I am the founder of Free Food For All (FFFA). My next goal is to help Singaporeans in need to get food aid at just a click of a button. Someone who needs food aid just need to fill up an online form and if they have problems with it, someone from the FFFA office can assist them. The first part of the document helps us to get to know them better, the second one allows us to know what kind of help they need and the third part is for them to indicate their dietary preferences. With this, we know what kinds of food aid to render them. For example, someone who dislikes chocolate will not be given Milo. We target for the food to reach them within 3 working days.
I’m definitely looking to digitizing the process. The first step is for us to identify if they need help once or within three or six months. Then they will be given a code where they will then visit a website where they will choose whatever they need using the credit given to them based on their needs. There are ingredients for cooking or ready to eat meals convenient to suit their needs. This is what we are heading and transitioning to in the near future. After every month, there will be interventions where we will approach them and ask them how else they can be helped. For some people who are financially weak, they have developed mental issues over time so we get assistance from IMH for them. We hope to get at least 100 families into this online programme by second quarter in 2021.
The online e-shop also allows families to gain points when they help others around them. These points act as credit to buy food from the e-shop. These families in need should not be seen only as receivers because they are capable of contributing too. Their energy should be channelled into something valuable for people around them. Psycho-social support is very important for them as it helps to channel people to doing what they like to do. In that way, they can contribute to society. I am working with the psycho-social institute now to help those with mental issues as they battle their poverty at the same time.
I also feel strongly about ensuring the needs of our youths are met. In order to help the future elderlies, we have to take care of the youths now. We have to give them physical needs as well as mental and emotional needs. For example, if you live in a family where you treat your parents in a bad way, you cannot expect your children to treat you better. Your children may take care of you if you have been a good example to them. At the same time, we want youths to treat elders with respect and compassion, regardless of whether they are family members or neighbours. This is what we are trying to promote.
What does FFFA mean to me? Well, FFFA means everything to me because it’s my baby. Right or wrong, my decisions have led us to where we are now. How do I hand over FFFA to someone who has the same vision? That’s my current worry. It is important to hand it over to someone who can see the bonds of humanity and not someone out to make profits. If I had focused on profits, we would never be here today. Instead, we put people first. Back then, we already knew that our mission would be for the people. On that basis, we did what we had to do. I have yet to find someone to take over me. FFFA is a toddler I have watched grow under my care. I have had close friends ridicule me and ask me how long I can last. They ask if FFFA is viable and feasible. All I wanted to do was to feed people using the resources that I have. For me, it’s either doing my best or doing nothing at all.
My goal for people is that no one should ever go hungry. People should not hoard food, like what happened during Covid-19. There should be places where people can go to when they are hungry. These places should be publicised further. That is what some organisations do for their foreign workers which I think is commendable. Ultimately, you can have other problems in a society, but no one should ever go hungry.
At Free Food For All, we provide free meals that are nutritious and tasty to those in need and who qualify for one of our assistance programmes. We provide relief by fulfilling a basic human need for food and empower our beneficiaries to take action and raise themselves out of poverty.
We aim to rekindle the kampong spirit through fostering strong ties between neighbours and the community.
Free Food For All is a project for the Community, by the Community. Ending hunger is no longer a matter of means but rather a matter of will. As a society, we are capable of ensuring that no one in Singapore has to go hungry again.