Care Meal Distribution for Guest Workers Amid COVID-19

Although the outbreak of COVID-19 has resulted in the cessation of some business and services, Hope Initiative Alliance (HIA) has not stopped caring for the less fortunate—especially those who have been badly affected by the virus.  

SowCare—the charity arm of The Bible Society of Singapore—has partnered with the Alliance of Guest Workers Outreach (AGWO), a movement of Hope Initiative Alliance (HIA), to initiate a Care Meals distribution exercise to care for guest workers living in factory-converted dormitories (FCDs). We have distributed a total of 1,027,505 Care Meals and more than 1.2 million essential items (hygiene packs, medical supplies and other foodstuffs) to more than 21,000 guest workers in more than 300 dormitories. Beyond this, we are also continuing to work with the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) and the Migrant Workers’ Centre (MWC) in providing meals to guest workers who are facing repatriation. This could not have been done without our dedicated volunteers, donors and partners.  

The meal distribution exercise was initially planned as a one-day exercise on Good Friday, 10 April, to bless the guest workers. However, due to the overwhelming demand, it continued throughout the circuit breaker, and even beyond Phase One. We would like to show our heartfelt appreciation towards the MOM and MWC for having us as their core community partner in serving the guest workers and meeting their needs amidst this unprecedented global crisis.  

There were also additional distribution exercises on various occasions. On 18 April, a mask distribution exercise was organised upon the request of MOM. In total, over 110 volunteer drivers were mobilised to deliver reusable masks to 192 FCDs. On 7 May, over 300 volunteers came together to help pack and distribute Festive Care packs to over 12,000 guest workers in 260 FCDs. This distribution effort also saw the participation of many community leaders, such as—Mr Tan Chuan-Jin, Ms Joan Pereira, Ms Denise Phua and many others.  

On 9 May, there was a distribution exercise in partnership with MOM, which provided 3,000 prayer mats to guest workers in 66 dormitories. Mr Zaqy Mohammad, Minister of State for the Ministry of National Development and Ministry of Manpower, also visited the dorms during this distribution exercise. Additionally, on 23 and 24 May, the guest workers received an extra pack of foodstuffs, as well as enhanced meals. This initiative provided meals for 7,000 workers in over 110 FCDs.  

As part of efforts to engage the wider community in order to serve even more guest workers, the ‘Adopt-A-Dorm’ initiative was launched on 20 April, where 32 organisations formally committed to care for the guest workers in a sustainable manner.  

One of our volunteers, Mr Joshua Eswaran, was emotional as he remembers the unforgettable experience he had with the guest workers on the ground. “A Bangladeshi guy called me, asking for help and he said he needed food. He and his friends had not eaten for 3 days. It was very hard for me because I never expected that we would have such a case. I think it should never happen to anyone.”  

HIA would like to express our heartfelt gratitude to our volunteers who have participated in this joint national effort to care for the guest workers amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. We are thankful to each and every individual who has sacrificed their time and resources, and shared what they have to make a difference in the lives of these guest workers.  

We are thankful for our many partners, donors and volunteers who have encapsulated the ‘kampung spirit’ by coming together during these unprecedented times to lend a helping hand to our fellow brothers.  

As the nation slowly gears itself for an uncertain future, may we not forget the need to care for our neighbours amidst adversity. 


  • 8M Real Estate Pte Ltd
  • Aberdeen Asset Management
  • Agabe Baptist Church
  • Agape Christian Centre
  • Ang Mo Kio Methodist Church (TRAC) 
  • Apple from Our Hearts 
  • Applied Materials 
  • Azalea Investment Ma Azalea Investment Management
  • Arie Darma Enterprises (S) Pte Ltd
  • Bedok Methodist Church
  • Bethestha (Bedok-Tampines) Church 
  • Breadtalk 
  • Bunge Asia Pte Ltd
  • Calvary Baptist Church
  • Cathay Photo
  • CG: Branch of BBTC 
  • Church of Our Saviour
  • Church of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour 
  • Corteva Agriscience 
  • Creatives for Aid
  • Credit Suisee AG
  • Dalvey Estate Residents 
  • Dignity Kitchen 
  • Equus Design
  • Faith Methodist Church
  • Filos Comm Services 
  • Foodbank 
  • FriesLand Campina S’pore Pte Ltd 
  • Gardenia Foods (S) Pte Ltd 
  • Goldmine Energy Pte Ltd 
  • Gong Cha 
  • GP+ Co-operative Limited
  • Grace Baptist Church 
  • Heinemman 
  • Heineken APAC
  • Henderson-Dawson Constituency 
  • Hong Leong Foundation 
  • Illumina Corporate Foundation
  • Inter-Religious Organisation, Singapore 
  • Isaac Manasseh Meyer Trust Fund 
  • CKTan Law Corporation 
  • Kalpanna Pushcart 
  • Kampong Glam CC 
  • Kitchen Connectionos 
  • Klook 
  • Kwee Gee Pte Ltd 
  • Living Sanctuary Bretheren Church
  • Migrant Matters
  • Majilis Ugama Islam Singapura
  • Make A Difference Group
  • Migrant Workers’ Centre 
  • Ministry of Manpower 
  • National Volunteer Philanthropy Centre 
  • New Hope Community Services 
  • National University of Singapore 
  • Old Chang Kee 
  • Paya Lebar Methodist Church
  • Project Dignity 
  • QiQi 
  • Rabbit Carrot Gdn Pte Ltd 
  • Redemption Hill Church
  • Rise Against Hunger
  • Riverlife Church Ltd 
  • RiverLife Community Services
  • Rotary Club of Singapore 
  • Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia 
  • SATA CommHealth 
  • SG Cares & SG United 
  • Shanghai Pudong Development Bank Co., Ltd 
  • Sing Thye Co 
  • Singapore Buddhist Federation 
  • Singapore Kindness Movement 
  • Singapore Press Holdings’ Chinese Media Group
  • Smyrna Assembly
  • Smyasia Yeo Family Foundation 
  • SowCare 
  • Teekay Shipping Singapore Pte Ltd
  • Temasek Foundation
  • Texel Asia Pte Ltd
  • The Bangladesh Embassy in Singapore
  • The Methodist Church 
  • Thong Hai Pte Ltd 
  • TohTonKu (S) Pte Ltd 
  • TSL Holdings 
  • Unique Marketing
  • Vectra One Ltd
  • Wesley Methodist Church 
  • YHS (Singapore) Pte Ltd 
  • Yikowei Pte Ltd
  • Yio Chu Kang Chapel 
  • YMCA of Singapore 

Number of Volunteers: 609

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