Give or Get a free meal
while supporting our hawkers and F&B stalls
Why Belanja Eat?
We all need a Belanja (‘treat’ in Malay language) sometimes. These are hard times, but together we can get through this and come out stronger and hopefully, kinder.
So Belanja Eat is for everyone.
If you have some extra cash to spare, belanja someone who may need a meal today.
If you're tight on cash this month, let someone belanja you today. Don't paiseh, when times are better, you can help someone else.
I want to belanja (treat) a meal
1. How do I know if the people claiming the free meals are really in need? What if they are rich or just simply kiasu?
Belanja Eat relies on an honour system. Just like all things, there will always be people who abuse it.
Yet, in these hard times, there are truly people who need the free meal and are too paiseh to ask for help. They may also not qualify for government support or relief yet.
That's why Belanja Eat is a no-questions-asked, no-judgement, pay-it-forward system. Have more faith in people lah.
2. I am a stall owner. Some of my customers might need a free meal but they don't know about Belanja Eat. I also don't want to offend or embarrass them. How do I tell them that there are kind people who would like to belanja them a free meal?
Some hawker stall owners have told us their tips! Here's some:
a) Indirect way:
"Hello customer! Do you know of anyone who needs a belanja?
We got kind people who have pre-paid for some meals and it is free!
No need to apply, no need paiseh. Super simple. Times are bad lah, that's why must help one another!"
b) Share about Belanja Eat:
"Wah, these are really jialat times. I'm sure a lot of people would need a free meal.
See... this Belanja Eat project good, machiam kampung spirit lah - if you've some extra, you buy a meal for others. If you need, just take a free meal. Sharing is caring!"
3. Do I need to "interview" every customer redeeming a free meal to make sure they are really needy?
No lah! Please don't "interview" or reject anyone who asks for a Belanja Eat free meal.
We can't always tell who needs a meal just based on how they look. Some may have just lost a job, or are having a hard time at home.
Don't go and make them paiseh by interviewing them, rejecting them or staring at them up and down ok.
We all go through rough periods and this is a challenging time. Let's help one another and trust each other more. The donors of the meals have the same trust too!
4. What if the same customer comes back often to claim a free meal?
It's ok! Please smile and offer the customer the free meal. Don't reject or stare at the person ok? It's not easy for the customer to be coming forward to request for a free meal. Like many of us, he/she may be going through a difficult period.
5. I don't have a printer at home and all the printing shops are closed. How do I get a Belanja Eat poster?
6. What happens if no one claims a free meal?
If no one claims a free meal after 3 days, let us know. We'll put it on social media to help promote.
If there are more than 10 meals left unclaimed after 1 month, the stall owner can also decide to donate the cooked meals to charitable organizations or beneficiaries. You can donate the money to The Courage Fund, or go to SG United to see how else they can help.
7. What if I run out of posters?
If you have 20 meals (circles) donated, please stop accepting new donations. Wait till the free meals have been redeemed.
Remember ah, don't reject anyone who asks for a free meal! We all have our bad times - let's help one another.
If all 20 meals have been donated and redeemed (circles are ticked), please do not take down the poster. You can:
1. Print a new poster, then take down the old one; or
2. Paste a blank sheet of small paper over the boxes and draw lines :)
Kind neighbours who want to start Belanja Eat:
1. I want to help start a Belanja Eat at my neighbourhood hawker. How to approach the hawker stall owner ah?
Here's what works best for us so far:
a. we usually start with "Uncle / Auntie, we want to buy people free food, you want to help?"
When someone comes and wants to redeem a free meal, mark a tick.
Usually at this time, they will agak-agak understand the concept.
c. Then ask them what's their most popular or nutritious meal. If they're ok, write down the dish name and price on the poster.
d. What's really helpful is to get the ball rolling by offering to donate a few meals!
So we tell the Uncle / Auntie we want to donate 2-3 meals. Pass him/her the money then draw 2-3 circles.
Then walk Uncle / Auntie through the steps again. Remind them to brief other staff running the stall too!
If someone wants to treat a meal, then draw a new circle.
Remind them not to "interview" or reject anyone who asks for a Belanja Eat free meal. We cannot always tell who needs a meal, just based on how they look like. Some people may have just lost their job or money is tight at home. Remember, no judgement!
Who are we?
We are a group of friends who want to spread some hope, some cheer, and some yummy FOOD during these uncertain times. Some of us are going through a rough time, and we may not always know who but we know we're all going through this together, and we want to show that we care.
This is our Singaporean take on paying it forward - Belanja!
We are just a small group and our resources are limited. So we want to make it as easy as possible for anyone to use these resources to start a Belanja Eat on their own as a small act when you get your own food.
At the same time the hawkers and F&B stalls that host our Belanjas can continue to stay in business. Win-win!