Prison inmates cooking for nursing homes
An industrial kitchen in Changi Prison Complex has been producing meals for three nursing homes in Singapore.
The Samsui Central Kitchen @ Changi Prison Complex currently serves 1,500 individuals but will be able to double that number by the end of the year.
The kitchen, officially launched yesterday, is a collaboration between Samsui Supplies and Services, Singapore Corporation of Rehabilitative Enterprises and Standard Chartered Bank.
The bank contributed $200,000 to set up the kitchen, which is run by 30 inmates from Monday to Saturday and can serve up to 1.8 million meals a year.
Mr Ang Kian Peng, director of Samsui Supplies, said the kitchen now churns out 2,400 meals an hour and flash freezes them to ensure freshness.
The meals are sent to the nursing homes daily.
The nature of the beneficiaries’ age and health also means that the kitchen has to have more calculated recipes, ensuring that the foods are high in nutritional value and low in calories, said Mr Ang. He added that Samsui Supplies tries to keep them at 500 calories a meal.
The inmates are involved in cooking and preparing the raw ingredients. They work from 8.30am to 5pm on weekdays and 8.30am to noon on Saturday and are paid a nominal allowance.
A 24-year-old inmate said working in the kitchen since its opening three months ago has helped him find some direction in life.
The inmate, identified only as John, said that before the programme, he did not really have any direction he wanted to take after release.
But he is now considering the food and beverage industry as an option.
Mr Ang said Samsui Supplies offers all inmates who work in the kitchen jobs after their release.