Kids get their fill from annual Toy Buffet
Over 2,500 needy children are beneficiaries of Food From The Heart's Toy Buffet event
Each child could pick only two toys from a "toy buffet".
Despite being faced with many choices, Sengkang Primary School pupil Cheng Siew Ying had already planned to give one toy to her cousin.
"I don't always get toys, so I'm very happy to be here because I get to choose what I want," Siew Ying, 11, told The New Paper.
The Primary 5 pupil was one of more than 2,500 needy children from 45 schools and welfare homes who got their fill of toys and games at the annual Toy Buffet on Friday.
The event, which is in its 13th year, was organised by Food From The Heart (FFTH), a non-profit organisation that helps the less fortunate through a food distribution programme.
Yesterday's event was hosted at Maris Stella High School and is the largest one held to date.
In the end, Siew Ying picked up the game Connect 4 and some soft toys, which would go to her baby cousin.
She lives with her two older siblings and mother, a housewife who earns some income by taking care of Siew Ying's little cousin.
The event aimed to bring joy to underprivileged children by giving them toys and the chance to have some playtime, said FFTH executive director Anson Quek.
He told The New Paper: "We want the children to feel special, enjoy a fun-filled day and go home with toys of their choice."
Another Sengkang Primary pupil, Darylyn Tan, 11, who picked up a scooter and an accessory maker, told TNP that she does not get to buy toys often as they are expensive.
She said: "My mother works very hard for the family. When I go home, I will use the accessory maker to make accessories for her."
About 600 corporate and student volunteers were also at the event.
The volunteers included Primary 3 pupils from Maris Stella High School, who said they were eager to help out.
Some admitted they were not aware that there were children in Singapore who could not afford to buy toys.
"I hope through this, we're able to show love and joy to the children," said volunteer Christian Lee.
Presenting sponsor NTUC Fairprice Co-operative said its greatest wish was to make the event enjoyable for the kids.
Mr Tng Ah Yiam, NTUC Fairprice Co-operative's deputy CEO of merchandising, said: "We have the resources and network, so why not use it to help the less fortunate?"
A spokesman for corporate sponsor Dell Technologies, which donated about 3,000 toys, said: "We brought in toys such as bicycles, and Lego and board games to ensure that the kids will be able to share the joy with their siblings."
My mother works very hard for the family. When I go home, I will use the accessory maker to make accessories for her.
- Darylyn Tan, 11
Top 'clean plate' schools recognised
Yesterday, as part of Food From The Heart's (FFTH) Clean Plate Campaign, the top "clean plate" schools were announced.
They are Maha Bodhi School, North Vista Primary School, Stamford Primary School, Alexandra Primary School and Yio Chu Kang Primary School.
This year's Clean Plate Campaign saw a clean plate count of 21,210 from 36 participating schools - a 60 per cent increase compared with last year.
The campaign encourages pupils to curb wastage and to buy only what they can finish.
FairPrice Foundation, which pledged to match every clean plate count with a $10 donation (up to a maximum of $150,000), gave $150,000 to FFTH.
Mr Anson Quek, FFTH's executive director, said: "We are very happy to see more schools willing to come on board to educate children on food wastage."