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29 October 2018

FairPrice Share-A-Textbook project targets to collect half a million textbooks for needy students; rallies community to donate generously

 

  • Members of public are encouraged to donate textbooks at over 170 donation points across all FairPrice stores, including FairPrice Finest supermarkets, FairPrice Xtra hypermarkets, Warehouse Club and FairPrice Xpress outlets
  • FairPrice targets to collect 500,000 books this year as part of efforts to care for the environment and community, in addition to over 5 million books collected since the initiative started
  • More than 800 volunteers are required to help out in collecting, sorting and packing books, members of public are encouraged to come forward to contribute their time  

SINGAPORE, 29 October 2018 – NTUC FairPrice (FairPrice) today launched its 36th annual Share-A-Textbook project, leveraging their growing number of brick-and-mortar stores as drop-off points for used textbooks in good condition. This year, over 170 stores, comprising all FairPrice supermarket formats including FairPrice Finest supermarkets, FairPrice Xtra Hypermarkets, Warehouse Club and FairPrice Xpress outlets, will serve as drop-off points from now to 30 November 2018 – the highest number of stores to be involved in the drive so far. The initiative has a target to collect half a million textbooks as part of this year’s efforts.

Mr Seah Kian Peng, CEO, NTUC FairPrice, said, “FairPrice Share-A-Textbook remains our signature community event in galvanising the community to do good for beneficiaries and at the same time spread the spirit of giving. This initiative is also an extension of our sustainability efforts. This year, we have increased the target for the book collection so that more people can benefit from it. To make it even more convenient for donors, we are also opening up all our different format stores for the public to drop-off used textbooks. We have also received more requests to volunteer this year from our partners, schools and the public and we thank them for joining us in making a difference to the community.”

The launch was officiated by Mr Ong Ye Kung, Minister for Education, and attended by Mr Seah Kian Peng, CEO, FairPrice along with key community partners of the initiative which included corporates and schools.

Since its commencement in 1983, the project has seen over 5 million books collected, contributing towards environmental efforts to reduce paper waste, while serving the educational needs of the less fortunate in the community.

A concerted effort by volunteers and partners

This year, more than 800 volunteers will be required to assist in areas such as logistics, promotion, mass community collection, sorting and distribution of the textbooks. They are expected to contribute over 4,800 man-hours to the project.

Currently, close to 500 volunteers from 34 community partners, 62 schools and FairPrice are coming forward to help bring the Share-A-Textbook project to fruition this year. Gan Eng Seng School which has been supporting the project for six years, forms one of the largest contingent of volunteers this year, where over 200 student volunteers will dedicate their time to ensure that donated books are well sorted and available for beneficiaries on collection day.

Mdm Jenny Tan, Principal of Gan Eng Seng School, said, “Gan Eng Seng School is proud to support FairPrice Share-A-Textbook’s meaningful cause for the sixth year, by rallying our students to assist in collecting, packing, sorting and distributing used textbooks that are still in good condition. Through these efforts, we strive to nurture kindness and empathy, build resilience and bring out the best in each of our students, as they learn to be more environmentally-conscious and giving towards others in the community.”

Interested individuals or organisations are invited to register their interest and participation at fptextbook@fairprice.com.sg.

 Textbook distribution to the community 

FairPrice works with social service organisations and Community Development Councils (CDCs) to shortlist students from low-income families, who will be given priority to collect textbooks a day before access is given to the general public. About 20,000 students between the ages of 7 to 16 years have been registered under this priority scheme. Textbooks will be made available to shortlisted students under the priority scheme on first day of distribution 8 December 2018. Public distribution day will be on 9 December 2018 at Our Tampines Hub.

Past digital technology efforts

Last year, a trial Share-A-Textbook mobile app and online portal was launched to allow users to arrange to collect the textbooks they have selected from donors through digital platform. FairPrice has made the decision to discontinue the digital platform due to low take-up rate, and to re-focus donation mechanics around its brick-and-mortar stores through physical drop-off points. Members of the public can instead conveniently donate their used books at over 170 donation points across Singapore.

FairPrice’s sustainability efforts

In addition to serving the needs of the less fortunate in the community, Share-A-Textbook underlines FairPrice’s drive in championing environmental sustainability by encouraging the community to re-use textbooks. The project has collected, redistributed and recycled over 5 million books since 1983 – equivalent to covering the perimeter of a soccer field almost 3325 times, when the textbooks are laid out end-to-end. This is in addition to ongoing eco-friendly initiatives such as FairPrice’s Plastic Bag Reduction Framework and Food Waste Reduction Framework.

 

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