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04 December 2009

NTUC FairPrice helps needy students cope with school expenses through Free Used Textbooks and Study Grants

- FairPrice exceeds target and collects over 200,000 used textbooks

- Public may collect free used textbooks at six distribution points on 7 December 2009

- FairPrice Awards Over Half a Million Dollars Worth of Study Grants to 800 Needy Students

Homegrown supermarket retailer, NTUC FairPrice, collected more than 200,000 used textbooks (mainly primary and secondary school textbooks) for the FairPrice Used Textbooks Project this year, an increase of over 30 per cent compared to the 150,000 collected last year. Members of the public responded actively to FairPrice’s appeal through the media last week for the public to donate their used textbooks. More than two thirds of the books were received over the weekend.

Thanking the public for their overwhelming support, Mr Tan Kian Chew, Group CEO, NTUC FairPrice said: “FairPrice would like to thank all members of the public who responded very positively to our appeal to donate their used textbooks and who helped us meet our target. Their donations, together with the commitment from our community partners and student volunteers, have ensured that needy students affected by the economic downturn will continue to benefit from this project.”

To ensure students from low income families benefit from the FairPrice Used Textbook Project, the various unions, welfare organisations and schools were earlier invited to nominate suitable students to collect the books under the project’s Priority Scheme where they will collect their textbooks ahead of the public.  This year, about 11,500 needy students will collect their textbooks under this scheme.

The public is invited to collect their free textbooks on 7 December 2009 between 9am and 5pm at the following six locations: Yio Chu Kang Secondary School, St. Anthony Canossian Secondary School, Nanyang Junior College, Changkat Changi Secondary School, Shuqun Secondary School and Bukit Batok Secondary School.

For almost three decades, the NTUC FairPrice Used Textbooks Project has helped needy families save on textbook expenses, and relieved their financial burden by providing free second-hand textbooks for lower-income families. The project also helps to promote a greener Singapore through recycling of used textbooks and encouraging the value of thrift in students. This community project has been held in conjunction with the Back to School initiative, a staple programme of the Labour Movement since 2005. Through this programme, the Labour Movement distributes vouchers to help children of lower-income union members prepare for the new school term and organises Back to School Fairs to promote the importance of family support during tough times.

FairPrice Awards Over Half a Million Dollars Worth of Study Grants to Needy Students

Besides helping needy students to reduce textbook expenses, NTUC FairPrice has also given out more than $575,000 worth of study grants to over 800 needy students this year. These recipients are children of low income FairPrice members and FairPrice staff who are awarded varying amounts based on their level of study. 

“As a social enterprise and responsible corporate citizen, FairPrice is committed to contributing to its community, such as helping needy students with their study expenses. In a year where many low-income families were affected by the economic downturn, we are glad to make a difference to their lives through this ongoing initiative,” Mr Tan noted. 

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