Singapore — Zulkifli Abdul Halim and Shah Hida Anuar, the owners of the Satin Satay stall at Tiong Bahru Market, are people who have made sure that the elderly who come to them walk away with full stomachs.
The couple, who opened their stall in November 2018, often see older people come to Satin Satay, but many of them do not buy a full meal. Some helpers also often visit the stall, only to avail themselves of the cheapest meals possible.
Mr Zufikli and Ms Shah then came up with a plan that would ensure that those in need would be taken care of with a good meal.
They call them ‘Bad Day Meals,’ and the couple, instead of merely subsidizing all the meals themselves, enlists the help of anyone and everyone who would like to ‘chope’ a meal for someone else in need.
In a video posted on Facebook, as well as the couple’s Give Asia page, Mr Zuflikli and Ms Shah explain,
“Some of them (the elderly) are a bit withdrawn like they seem keen to come and try our food. But once they ask how much the dishes cost, they tend to hold back, and sometimes just ordered (sic) one dish.
Some of [them] come to the shop when we are closing, to pick up whatever scraps that we are going to throw out.”
Ms Shah also talked about the helpers who come to Satin Satay, “There are also helpers waiting for their payday who always come to us and always buy the same cheap meals that we have.”
At first, when the couple was moved by people’s circumstances, they told would-be customers, “It’s okay, just take. When you have the money, just pay us,” but Mr Zulkifli said that being told this made people shy to avail of the meals at prices they dictated.
And thus, the husband and wife began to not only offer subsidised meals, but they also began to let others ‘chope’ a meal for those who need it, through their Bad Day Menu.
A “Lite” meal costs 50 cents, and a “Full” meal, a dollar. The actual costs of a lite meal, a hearty noodle dish with eggs, is S$3.00, and a full meal of rice, two servings of vegetables and one serving of meat, is S$5.00.
But offering these heavily subsidized meals means that anyone can walk away with a happy tummy for a very small price.
Ms Shah says on their Give Asia page,
“We’d do our best to give a full meal even if an individual could not afford it. We know there are many of you who would like to see a more equal Singapore. So we want to invite you to participate and buy a Bad Day Meal, cos everyone gets a bad day but you don’t need to go hungry.”
Since they started the campaign, the couple have raised their goal of S$5000 and said in a Berita Mediacorp interview that they have given out more than 1,200 “Bad Day Meals” in all.
But here’s the kicker, you don’t even have to be less fortunate in any way to have a Bad Day, a fact that Mr Zuflikli and Ms Shah know well.
As Mr Zulkifli said: “Bad days don’t just occur to people who do not have money. People who have money have bad days as well. So, that’s why we decided that ‘bad day meals’ are for anyone.
We love [helping others] and want to give more meals to anyone who may need it.”/ TISG