Feeding yourself is tough no?
Having to toil at work, bring home your paycheck and then having to decide on your meals thrice a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year, sounds like a headache, isn’t it?
What more if you have a family to feed, or in Ang Kian Peng’s case, 1.5 million elderly and the less fortunate to feed annually?
Ang Kian Peng- A man on a charitable mission
But that is exactly the kind of desire to help the less fortunate that Mr Ang credits his grandmother for.
According to this CNA article:
“Mr Ang’s desire to help the less fortunate stems from his childhood. As a boy who accompanied his grandmother to Buddhist temples serving free vegetarian meals, he got to observe people, including the needy, queuing for the food.”
He shared: “She formed a kind of foundation for me when I was growing up, to do more charity work.”
To which extent, while working for the home-grown eatery Soup Restaurant Group, Mr Ang got down to thinking “how to make philanthropic efforts one of its priorities.”
The brainchild of his ideals and action was to become Samsui Kitchen, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Soup Restaurant Group incorporated in 2013, which mission is to provide healthy food for beneficiaries of nursing homes and charities.
Saumsui Supplies & Services which run Samsui Kitchen
Social Enterprise and its challenges
According to the article, “Samsui has since grown exponentially, and not just as a subsidiary meal provider.
“It has evolved into a self-sustaining social enterprise that is creating jobs by engaging prison inmates and people with disabilities to prepare the meals.”
Now, whoever said that charities and business are mutually exclusive concepts, please take a corrective-cue from Mr Ang.
Identifying that Soup Restaurant Group could utilize its F&B skill set to help voluntary welfare organisations (VWOs), Mr Ang knew the project had to be sustainable (not just be about giving away free food) and needed to have the support of suppliers, chefs and even beneficiaries to enable the success of his mission.
While Mr Ang faced distrust from suppliers who felt that the mission was a ploy for the “restaurant group to get cheaper produce”, beneficiaries wondered too if this was a “marketing gimmick” and chefs felt that having to cook for beneficiaries during their downtime was indeed “quite a task.”
While he had felt like giving up, everyone from eventually came on board and delivered.