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Starbucks customer sees unsold food being discarded, gives it to migrant workers instead

SINGAPORE — A Saturday afternoon coffee run has spurred one woman to start a new initiative to redistribute unsold food to migrant workers.

Starbucks customer sees unsold food being discarded, gives it to migrant workers instead

Photo: Itsrainingraincoats/Facebook

SINGAPORE — A Saturday afternoon coffee run has spurred one woman to start a new initiative to redistribute unsold food to migrant workers.

Ms Dipa Swaminathan, 44, was out on Saturday afternoon (June 18) getting coffee at a Starbucks outlet at Singapore Polytechnic when she spotted staff clearing away food as it was about to close at 4pm.

Seeing that they were about to throw away “perfectly good-quality food”, Ms Dipa decided to ask them whether she could pack the food for some migrant workers, whom she had earlier seen doing some road work nearby. The staff agreed to her request.

Ms Dipa, who is a Singapore permanent resident, wrote about her impromptu gesture in a Facebook post.

“They handed me two bags of pastries, muffins and sandwiches (all very kindly warmed up) and I was lucky enough to find workers right down the road. The workers were delighted, and as I turned back after handing them the food I saw them all happily snacking, sitting on the pavement,” Ms Dipa wrote on a Facebook page, Itsrainingraincoats, which is an initiative the lawyer had set up about a year ago to donate raincoats to migrant workers.

Speaking to TODAY, the Singapore permanent resident said she had been mulling over the idea of distributing unsold food to migrant workers for some time, and the chance encounter on Saturday has strengthened her resolve to pursue it further.

She added that she hopes to continue distributing unsold food that would otherwise go to waste, and if possible, on a larger scale.

“I would like to explore ways to do this more regularly, on a more institutional level,” Ms Dipa said.

Her post on the encounter has since gone viral, with over 9,000 reactions and 1,300 shares. She hopes it would inspire others to do the same as well as encourage F&B establishments to donate unsold food.

“There’s a great need to redistribute food that will be wasted and to find a way to give to people who don’t get good-quality food, particularly migrant workers,” said Ms Dipa.

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