An 85-year-old senior citizen who was missing for about three days was found thanks to the efforts of a hawker who regularly provides free food to the needy.
Mummy Yummy, a vegan hawker, has been offering affordable meals for low-income workers and free cooked food for the underprivileged for some years now. The hawker even delivers the free meals straight to the doorsteps of those who need home-cooked meals the most.
The group of four women who started Mummy Yummy have been providing door to door food distribution to rental flats in Singapore since 2013. Since December 2017, they have been distributing free food to at least 142 rental blocks in the whole of Singapore.
On Sunday (27 Oct), Mummy Yummy explained why it is so important to them to go straight to the doorsteps of the needy to deliver the cooked food and recounted the heart-rending story of Grandpa Raja – an 85-year-old senior citizen who lives alone and keeps his door unlocked at night, being afraid to suddenly pass away alone at home:
“Grandpa Raja as we called him is living alone in his flat and doesn’t mingle around with his neighbours most of the time. He seldom leaves his flat and everyday he will be waiting by his house gate sitting on the floor waiting for our food to reach him.
“He never closes his wooden door even at night when he goes to sleep as he is afraid he will die inside alone and nobody knows. Grandpa is 85 year old. When our meals to him went uncollected for the first day, we were already putting him on our alert list.
“When the meals were left hanging at his door for 3 consecutive days, we immediately went down to his flat and called the police for assistance because we know something is wrong.”
The police arrived and activated civil defence personnel to break into the flat, where they found that Grandpa Raja was missing. The police promised to contact Mummy Yummy as they investigated the case.
Six hours later, Mummy Yummy received a call from Grandpa Raja who had been found by the police and returned home. Grandpa Raja then told the hawker what happened to him:
“We asked grandpa what actually happened to him and he said he got no money to take bus home and he couldn’t walk back home. During the few days his mobile was switched off and uncontactable because of flat battery. He is also scared of asking money from strangers thinking that he might get caught and sent to jail for it.
“How the police managed to locate him, we honestly don’t know. But a big salute to them for being so effective in serving the people. It might just be one old folk gone missing but it will definitely take more than one policeman to find him. Not to mention giving him a ride and sending him safely to his home.”
Asserting that their service to the needy is more than delivering food and that they deliberately ensure that they extend constant follow-ups and a human touch to the needy residents they serve, Mummy Yummy said:
“Incidents like this make our daily interactions with the beneficiaries worth all the efforts. It might not happen daily but once in a while, someone will go missing for different reasons. It’s not just about a packet of food anymore for us, it’s the constant follow ups and human touch given to them. Prevention is always better than cure and Mummy Yummy’s idea of disaster prevention on our beneficiaries is through this packet of food.
“With this initiative, we can better monitor what our beneficiaries is going through daily and when incidents do happen, we are able to response quickly and efficiently. End of the day, grandpa is back safely and continues to wait for our food at his house gate but this time with a broad smile! Mission accomplished.”
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