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Free dates, drinks: How some businesses are spreading cheer this Ramadan period

SINGAPORE — Some businesses are going the extra mile to spread cheer to the Muslim community during the fasting month.

Muslims attending the Eidulfitri prayer at the Sultan Mosque in 2018. Since the start of Ramadan on May 6, supermarket chains such as NTUC FairPrice and Giant have been distributing complimentary food items near buka puasa, or when Muslims end their daily fast at sunset.

Muslims attending the Eidulfitri prayer at the Sultan Mosque in 2018. Since the start of Ramadan on May 6, supermarket chains such as NTUC FairPrice and Giant have been distributing complimentary food items near buka puasa, or when Muslims end their daily fast at sunset.

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SINGAPORE — Some businesses are going the extra mile to spread cheer to the Muslim community during the fasting month.

Since the start of Ramadan on May 6, supermarket chains such as NTUC FairPrice and Giant have been distributing complimentary food items near the break fast time.

Others like pop-up tea stall Broti are also pitching in. Broti has been giving out free drinks at its booths once a week for Muslims to buka puasa, or break their fast.

TODAY takes a look at what various businesses are doing.

  • NTUC FairPrice

Singapore’s largest supermarket chain is offering free dates and beverages to all Muslim customers at 40 of its stores half an hour before the break fast time, until half an hour after sunset.

Over S$40,000 worth of items will be distributed over the period, said Mr Tng Ah Yiam, deputy chief executive and head of product.

“We hope to see this initiative foster greater understanding, cohesion and appreciation of our multicultural society, while cultivating greater cross-cultural understanding of the Muslim faith and culture as well as to provide the Muslim community with simple food and drink as they break fast daily,” he said.

Shopper Jamiah Abdullah, who received the complimentary items, was “very delighted” by the initiative.

“(It helps) Muslim customers like myself break fast at the store when I’m unable to start buka puasa at home,” she said.

“This is the spirit of Ramadan, where we share our blessings and pass the good around for more people to benefit,” added the 56-year-old.

  • Giant

Giant supermarkets are also giving out free dates and drinks for their Muslim customers to break fast during Ramadan.

The items are available at all Giant outlets, a spokesperson confirmed.

Until June 5, shoppers can also donate food items through Giant’s partnership with Jamiyah Food Bank at selected outlets.

  • Sheng Siong

While the supermarket chain does not have any special offerings this Ramadan, the store manager of Sheng Siong’s Marsiling outlet has given out soft drinks to households nearby. This was to thank them for putting up with more noise and congestion during the festive period, a spokesperson told TODAY.

“As this Sheng Siong store is located at the void deck of a 4-storey HDB block, there may be some noise disturbances from our operations, especially during festive retail periods,” the spokesperson said.

“Hence, our store manager (took) the initiative to thank our neighbours in the same block for accommodating us, by giving them soft drinks as a small gesture of appreciation.” 

  • Broti

In an effort to “spread kindness”, pop-up tea stall Broti has been giving out free cups of tea to all customers, including non-Muslims, during the Ramadan period since 2016. This year, its weekly tea giveaway takes place this month.

“If you’d like to make a stranger’s day, you can do so by paying for someone’s cup of Broti at any of our Ramadan bazaar booths this month,” said Broti in a Facebook post.

Its stalls are at the Geylang bazaar, Tanjong Katong Complex and next to Woodlands MRT station.

Free cups of tea are given to random customers once a week before break fast time, a spokesperson told TODAY. In previous years, a total of about 1,000 cups have been given out.

“Ramadan is a month of giving and we want to give people a chance to extend their kindness to strangers as well,” said the spokesperson.

  • The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf

Until May 16, The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf served complimentary iced teas from break fast time until 8pm to its customers.

Almost 8,000 cups worth over S$45,000 were given out over the two weeks, the beverage chain told TODAY.

“Ramadan is a very important month for our Muslim friends and, hence, we wanted to extend a small gesture to them,” said Ms Karen Chua, Coffee Bean Singapore’s marketing director.

“Knowing that many of them might have just ended work or school, we felt that this would be an easy pick-me-up for them to freshen up with before heading home or continuing work.”

Related topics

Ramadan Muslim food fasting

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