On March 31 2016, a group of senior citizens from THK CREST @ Bedok Radiance arrived at Dignity Kitchen at 267 Serangoon Ave 3 for a special lunch treat – a complete meal of nasi lemak, hot beverages, and desserts.
This is part of the vision of Mr Koh Seng Choon, the Executive Director of Dignity Kitchen – to give the elderly something above the ordinary.
“Do you know that when you go to the old folks’ homes and elderly care centres, they dress up for you, they clap for you and they sing for you? What do these elderly really want? They want to go out. Can you imagine being stuck in a home all day? And that is how the Lunch Treat For The Elderly started,” said Mr Koh.
Since the initiation of Lunch Treat For The Elderly in October 2010, Dignity Kitchen has to date put smiles on more than 39,000 elderly from 140 homes, senior activity centres, and care centres across Singapore.
Before the lunch, Dignity Kitchen entertains the elderly with sightseeing tours to some of Singapore’s most iconic places. At the end of the tour, the ‘stars’ of the day are treated to a lunch at Dignity Kitchen.
I feel that some of them can be quite lonely. They just need someone to talk to or spend time with.
Sophia Heng, Events Executive of Dignity Kitchen
“We have a halal menu and a non-halal menu,” said Sophia Heng, Events Executive of Dignity Kitchen.
“During my personal encounters with the elderly, they often share stories from 20 years ago. They can forget about what they had eaten yesterday, but they can remember what happened to them 20 years ago. It is heart-warming that they’re willing to share their stories with a person they’re meeting for the first time,” said Sophia.
She added, “I feel that some of them can be quite lonely. They just need someone to talk to or spend time with.”
During the one-hour dining session, the elderly can enjoy their lunch while singing their hearts out on the karaoke system at Dignity Kitchen. In addition, Dignity Kitchen occasionally organises bingo games. This meaningful lunch treat aims to inspire the elderly to lead active and positive lifestyles.
“They really do enjoy [the experience]. They are very appreciative as there are still people who remember them. That is our goal as well – to make the elderly happy,” revealed Sophia.
Lunch Treat For The Elderly also has an online platform where organisations and individuals can sponsor the elderly’s lunch treats. To sponsor, visit http://sponsor.dignitykitchen.sg