Singapore has launched a new scheme worth S$1.5 million to help needy families by paying for milk powder. The programme, which is jointly launched by NTUC FairPrice Foundation and five Community Development Councils (CDCs), is expected to benefit up to 7,500 children.
It is reported that under the scheme, milk fund vouchers will be distributed among low-income families across Singapore which can be used to buy any brand of milk powder at all Fairprice supermarkets. While each child, aged between six months and three years old, is entitled to receive 10 vouchers of 20-dollar denominations each accounting to $200, children aged between four and six years old will receive $100 each. These vouchers will expire on 31 August 2018 after which the scheme will be reviewed.
"The idea of a milk fund was mooted by NTUC Fairprice Foundation comes very timely in our current economic climate. The CDCs are very happy to partner NTUC Fairprice foundation in this meaningful scheme to help low-income families with the purchase of milk powder for their children and ensure their children are not deprived of milk which is highly nutritious and essential in their growing years," said Chairman of Mayors' Committee and Mayor of North East District, Teo Ser Luck, according to channel News Asia.
Five CDCs are allowed, under the scheme, to consolidate resources at a district level, following which eligible families will be identified. It is also reported that two of the five CDCs, South East CDC and Central Singapore CDC, already have similar programmes to help out low-income families by providing milk powder.
Meanwhile, NTUC Fairprice believes that poor people will continue to have access to essentials products like milk powder. A new brand of infant formula, Aptamil, was also launched in the market last year to ensure that all families, regardless of income level, can afford it. "We worked hard with the supplier to provide better value for consumers and managed to price it 20 per cent lower than comparable brands for all union members. This helps parents stretch their dollar further," said Seah Kian Peng, Director of the Fairprice Foundation, as reported.
The scheme amidst price increase of milk powders over the last two years. According to NTUC Fairprice the price hike was due to enhanced product formulas adopted by different brands and a typical milk powder tin of 800g or 900g now costs between $30 and $100.