Samsui Central Kitchen from Changi Prison Complex has taken over a contract to prepare food for three Singapore nursing homes.
According to current accounts, the kitchen is serving 1,500 individuals. The Strait Times said that by the year-end, they will be serving double the number of people.
The kitchen was officially launched on October 13. It is a joint venture of Samsui Supplies and Services, Singapore Corporation of Rehabilitative Enterprises and Standard Chartered Bank.
"I strongly believe that private, public sectors and social enterprises can partner to be a strong force for good," the chief executive of Standard Chartered Bank Singapore Judy Hsu said.
The kitchen, which is run by 30 inmates from Monday to Saturday, has been given $200,000 for the entire set up by a bank. Apparently, the kitchen provides 1.8 million meals per year.
Ang Kian Peng, the director of Samsui Supplies and Services, said that the kitchen sells at least 2,400 meals per hour. He also said that the kitchen uses the flash freezing process to ensure that the meals are fresh.
Singapore nursing homes receive meals from the kitchen daily. Even though the expiry date of the food is two months, all the meals are eaten within five days.
Ang has mentioned that the objective of the kitchen is to ensure that the meals they are sending to the patients are high in nutrition and do not include much calories. He also added that Samsui always tries to limit the calories to 500 per meal.
The heads of kitchen usually work from 8.30 am to 5 pm on working days and prepare food for the beneficiaries. They also work on Saturdays until the afternoon. All of them are paid nominal allowance for their job.
A 24-year-old inmate, John, said that he found a direction for his life after joining the kitchen three months ago. He mentioned that after joining this kitchen he now has a roadmap and could look for his future in this industry. He also said that the kitchen's job is also very physical, as he was not familiar with jobs like this.
"I used to be able to cook only instant noodles, but now I know a few recipes. At least I can cook something nice for my family," he further added.
Teo Seng Boon, the deputy superintendent of prisons and the officer in charge of the programme, said that these kinds of work will be useful for the inmates in practical ways.
The chief executive of Touch Community Services and one of the beneficiaries James Tan, said, "The food is delicious, and our residents generally enjoy the meals." He added that it helps people to get quality food at a cheap price.
"Our goal is to help residents age with grace, and this is one way to provide them the necessary support while rehabilitating inmates," he concluded.