SINGAPORE, 23 July 2020 | Singapore’s only fortified rice provider, Foodness Asia, today announced that it will donate Fortified Rice Kernels to the Alliance of Guest Workers Outreach (AGWO). The donation is enough to fortify 100 tonnes of rice provided in daily meals to foreign workers residing in dormitories.
AGWO serves 12,000 meals daily and starting now, these meals will be fortified with essential vitamins and minerals to improve stamina and strengthen the workers’ immune systems.
“Foodness Asia’s vision is to improve nutrition for everyone”, says Donald Hanson, Managing Director of Foodness Asia. “Foodness Asia aims to improve nutrition for all in a cost-effective, convenient, and delicious way through fortification of our rice staples. In light of the pandemic, we felt a need to act to protect workers”.
Samuel Gift Stephen, Chairman of the Alliance of Guest Worker Outreach said, “Nutrition for our guest workers can sometimes be overlooked. The holistic care of our brothers is something that we prioritise. With the donation we received from Foodness Asia, we have been able to improve the health and well-being of the guest workers under our care, especially during this pandemic. Fortified rice is a new concept for us, and we certainly believe this is a great method that will be able to deliver important vitamins and minerals in a cost-effective and efficient manner.”
Defeating micronutrient deficiency
Micronutrient deficiency, or hidden hunger, occurs when people have enough calories but lack important micronutrients for good health. It is a problem affecting 2 billion people from vulnerable populations globally, prompting the World Health Organisation and the UN World Food Program to encourage food fortification as a solution.
Fortification is not only for vulnerable populations. Fortified rice has the potential to address micronutrient deficiencies in affluent populations that arise from poor eating habits, dietary preferences, and special nutritional requirements. This may include pregnant women, growing children, the elderly, people with vulnerable immune systems, and men in labour-intensive jobs.
Foodness Asia is donating fortification for foreign workers because they are particularly vulnerable to hidden hunger due to the nature of their work and low-cost diet. For anyone lacking essential micronutrients, Foodness Fortified Rice provides health benefits such as improved general health, increased energy, enhanced mental alertness as well as a stronger immune system.
Improving public health, one bowl of rice at a time
The global pandemic has raised awareness of the need to improve immune system health. Foodness Asia also markets its fortified rice products to eldercare facilities, schools, and online to the general public among others. They hope to partner with more organizations in the future.
John Liu, General Manager of Foodness Asia added, “The pandemic has reinforced our conviction that fortified rice is important to improve nutrition for everyone, and we are proud Singaporeans come together to help those in need”.
Buy rice for a good cause
Food insecurity has increased for needy Singaporeans. To help people contribute, Foodness has created a ‘Buy and Give’ campaign. Singaporeans can purchase special rice bundles online and Foodness will deliver 2, 5, or 10 packs of rice to charities and community organizations for every pack of rice Singaporeans buy for themselves.
Foodness’s Fortified Premium Fragrant Jasmine Rice contains a healthy amount of Vitamin A, Vitamin B1, B3, B6, B12, B9 (Folate), Iron, and Zinc.
To make Fortified Rice Kernels, vitamins and minerals are mixed with ground rice flour and formed into Fortified Rice Kernels (FRK) through a process involving steam, heat, and pressure. The kernels are then mixed into normal rice. The final product tastes and cooks just like ordinary rice.
Availability and pricing:
Foodness Fortified Rice is available in Singapore at the Foodness website (www.FoodnessAsia.com), Lazada, and Shopee.