The DBS Adopt-A-Hawker Centre initiative started when there was an observed need on the ground to support hawkers and accelerate the need for digitalisation, especially for elderly hawkers whose business had been badly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The initiative is a collaboration between DBS Bank, Infocomm Media Development Authority and Chinatown Complex Hawkers’ Association.
The DBS Adopt-A-Hawker Centre initiative rallies partners from the private and public sectors and the community to support the hawkers and encourages and supports frontline workers and those in need. To show support for our local hawkers, the initiative leverages group buys from affected hawkers, and raises the online discoverability of their businesses. In total, DBS is committed to “adopt” 10 hawker centres, with meal packs to be distributed to frontliners and lower-income communities by DBS People of Purpose employee volunteers. Funds were also raised from DBS employees to support the hawker centre group buys for the first three hawker centres that were “adopted” for the initiative.
Through the initiatives, close to 52,000 meals were purchased from 7 hawker centres from the period of September 2021 to October 2022. Close to 900 DBS volunteers were involved in making over 95 delivery trips to send the meals from the hawker centres to the frontline workers and individuals and families in need. DBS, IMDA and the hawker associations in Singapore have plans to support a total of 10 hawker centres by the end of 2022. As Singapore eases into a new normal, continued support on digital payment platforms, workshops on digital payments, scam awareness and online/digital marketing will continue to be made available to the hawkers to prepare them to be future ready.