Cloud kitchen to offer jobs to vulnerable groups, help food heritage brands survive

Clockwise from top right: Singapore's first social enterprise cloud kitchen, The Social Kitchen, is co-founded by Mr Alvin Yapp and Mr Ang Kian Peng (on left); a staff member from The Social Kitchen receiving training from an employee of Ming Fa Food
Singapore's first social enterprise cloud kitchen, The Social Kitchen, is co-founded by Mr Alvin Yapp and Mr Ang Kian Peng (left); a staff member from The Social Kitchen receiving training from an employee of Ming Fa Food Industries; and ngoh hiang platter set from Gim's Heritage, one of the nine food and beverage companies partnering The Social Kitchen in the Project SG Makan initiative.PHOTO: THE SOCIAL KITCHEN
Clockwise from top right: Singapore's first social enterprise cloud kitchen, The Social Kitchen, is co-founded by Mr Alvin Yapp and Mr Ang Kian Peng (on left); a staff member from The Social Kitchen receiving training from an employee of Ming Fa Food
Singapore's first social enterprise cloud kitchen, The Social Kitchen, is co-founded by Mr Alvin Yapp and Mr Ang Kian Peng; a staff member from The Social Kitchen receiving training from an employee of Ming Fa Food Industries (left); and ngoh hiang platter set from Gim's Heritage, one of the nine food and beverage companies partnering The Social Kitchen in the Project SG Makan initiative (right) .PHOTOS: THE SOCIAL KITCHEN

Singapore's first social enterprise cloud kitchen will provide jobs for vulnerable groups while helping food heritage brands to survive during the pandemic.

The Social Kitchen, co-founded by Mr Alvin Yapp and Mr Ang Kian Peng, was launched yesterday.

Its flagship central kitchen will start operations tomorrow, taking over the Y Cafe space at the YMCA in Orchard Road.

Its Project SG Makan initiative brings nine food and beverage (F&B) companies together to sell delivery-only and/or takeaway meals from the cloud kitchen.

These F&B partners - including Ming Fa Fishball, Gim's Heritage, and Boufe Boutique Cafe - will hire and train persons from low-income families, single mothers, persons with disabilities and their caregivers and family members.

Social service agencies will offer employment support services. The Social Kitchen plans to open 50 kitchens across Singapore.

As many F&B businesses struggle with manpower and rental, the cloud kitchen aims to give them a fighting chance, said Mr Yapp.

"These businesses still have a loyal following online. With The Social Kitchen, we will take care of preparation and delivery."

The social enterprise has also partnered YMCA in an initiative to hire persons with special needs.

Said Mr Ang: "I have always wanted to make a real difference for not only the underprivileged and those with special needs but also their caregivers. Sometimes we forget the economic impact on families associated with this demographic."

Besides ordering food from the various eateries under The Social Kitchen, customers may also dine in at the flagship central kitchen.

 
 

Project Makan 2.0 - a collaboration involving The Social Kitchen, YMCA, and Shine Children and Youth Services - will be launched on National Day to serve 15,000 meals to disadvantaged families.

"I'm excited about these projects and am glad to encourage these efforts to make sure children and families have enough to eat, and help businesses make it through this pandemic," said Speaker of Parliament Tan Chuan-Jin, who was at yesterday's launch of The Social Kitchen.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 31, 2020, with the headline 'Cloud kitchen to offer jobs to vulnerable groups, help food heritage brands survive'. Print Edition | Subscribe