IMPACT

Singapore Food Vendor Gives Coupons To Elderly So They Can Redeem Meals

"I don’t have many skills, so I use food to give back."

It’s increasingly difficult for older people to get by in Singapore, but one street vendor isn’t about to let any seniors go hungry.

Wang Li Er, 65, has been selling food at her stand, Cambridge Hong Kong Pig Roast, in Singapore for about 50 years, she told food blog Miss Tiam Chiak. In that time, she’s perfected her suckling pig and duck recipes ― and now she gives some of those meals away to elderly customers.

The cook doles out coupons for older people to redeem when they are in need of something to eat, she said in a video Tiger Beer produced to spotlight her work. The local beverage company is currently featuring videos about other area vendors to help “preserve” Singapore’s street food culture. 

“I don’t have many skills. Neither do I have an education,” Er said in Tiger Beer’s video. “So I use food to give back to society and to the needy.”

Her effort come at an auspicious time.

Singapore was ranked the most expensive city in the world this year, The BBC reported in March. 

But older workers are seeing their wages decline. 

The number of older workers earning less than $1,000 a month doubled from 2004 to 2014, according to The Straits Times. 

“When you see the smiles on their faces, it brings me so much happiness,” Er said. “It’s a feeling money can’t buy.”

In addition to highlighting the work and heritage of food vendors, Tiger Beer is also helping to support those who are new to the industry. The Tiger Street Food Support Fund will give financial assistance of up to $10,000 to vendors who are new to the profession.

To learn more about the effort, visit Tiger Beer’s website.

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