Have a meal on us – TPMC Gives

Presenting HAMOU vouchers to SBS TransitLink

What happens when Toa Payoh Methodist Church (TPMC) worshippers exhibit one of our core values—that of generosity? We get an overwhelming response from our worshippers who gave so that we can bless the food business operators, low-income families and bus captains who operate and live in Toa Payoh.

Have A Meal On Us, or HAMOU, is one of the many TPMC Gives initiatives in which we serve and are a blessing to the community around Toa Payoh. Every year, as part of our church anniversary celebrations, we look for ways to bless our neighbours. These are organisations that serve the Toa Payoh community—for example, the healthcare organisations, schools, transport workers and food business operators.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, we have heard of how food and beverage (F&B) businesses were affected. F&B operators at the coffeeshops around Toa Payoh Central shared that revenue was down, with some months going as low as 30 per cent since the pandemic started. So in 2020 and 2021, our anniversary projects were to bless the operators in these coffeeshops.

This year, we began with an initial plan to bless the stallholders by pre-paying at least 100 meals at each stall. These meals were served to low-income families supported by Care Corner Family Service Centre, Toa Payoh. The beneficiaries could redeem a meal at the participating stalls by presenting HAMOU vouchers from Aug to Dec 2021.

We were able to enlist 48 hawkers to join us in serving up at least 100 meals each to 50 beneficiaries. TPMC worshippers were challenged to give towards this cause, because we want to be a blessing in the midst of the pandemic.

What warmed our hearts was the generosity of TPMC worshippers who gave beyond what we targeted. With the excess funds received, we were able to do more.

Around the same time, news broke of the COVID-19 cluster at Toa Payoh Bus Interchange. Staff at Toa Payoh Bus Interchange, especially the bus captains, had to put in extra effort and time at work. Business at the eateries at the bus interchange was also affected as there was generally less foot fall in the area.

To encourage our neighbours, the bus captains and the food operators at Toa Payoh Bus Interchange, TPMC extended HAMOU to the Interchange. We pre-paid 2,500 meals at the bus interchange eateries and SBS TransitLink staff could redeem these meals using the specially-printed HAMOU vouchers in the months of Oct and Nov 2021.

In total, we were able to bless at least 100 low-income beneficiaries and 400 bus captains with 7,600 meals. One participating hawker shared with us through a simple text message: “I thank your church for the light shone to us during these difficult times.”

We thank God for those who contributed to HAMOU and for being a blessing to those in our Toa Payoh community. May TPMC be a blessing and enable others to encounter God’s love.

One of the participating stalls displaying HAMOUR posters
One of the participating stalls displaying HAMOUR posters

Audrey Ong is a Pastoral Staff member of Toa Payoh Methodist Church (TPMC). / Photos courtesy of TPMC