Transient Workers Count Too served 57,852 meals at our Cuff Road Project through the first six months of 2013. We averaged about 2,160 meals per week, which is 45 – 50 percent higher than the weekly average in 2011.
The monthly totals can be be gleaned from the table at left.
The June figure is provisional because we have not received a corroborating count from one of the three meal suppliers as at the time of writing. Their invoices seem to be late. However, even if there is some variation after checking, the variation is expected to be less than 50 meals, i.e. less than 0.5 percent of the June total.
TWC2 provides twelve free meals a week to workers who are unable to work because they are injured or they have been terminated as a result of a dispute with their employers — typically over unpaid salaries — and who are required to stay on in Singapore to resolve their cases.
We contract with three meal suppliers, providing a mix of South Indian and Bangladeshi food.
The number eating with us has grown steadily. In 2011, the earliest graph we have on this website, the average weekly total of meals served was about 1,500. That year, it varied greatly, from a low of 1,000 a week in early August to about 2,200 in late February.
In 2012, the weekly average rose to about 1,800 or 1,900. See graph here.
As can be seen from the table at right, in the first half of 2013, the weekly totals ranged from 1,967 to 2,494. The average was 2,161 meals.
Data for the Week #01 has been excluded because it was shorter than a seven-day week.
When the weekly totals are plotted on a bar chart, the rising numbers become starkly clear. For reasons not fully understood, there was a jump in demand from jobless workers around late April. Since then, it has stayed constantly above 2,300 meals a week. Sometimes such jumps happen because a large-ish employer lays off a whole batch of workers who have not been paid back salaries. Or, there is a spate of industrial accidents leading to an increase in the number of injured workers, who then stay with us for months thereafter, while their injuries are treated.
Nonetheless, the increase is more than a cyclical phenomenon. There has been a steady rise in demand from jobless workers since 2011.
TWC2’s Cuff Road Project is led by executive committee member Debbie Fordyce. She is assisted by a rather large group of volunteers (we always need more) including Arwen Joyce, who helps with the co-ordination, and Pat Meyer, who helps with training volunteers.
Although meals supply is contracted out, volunteers are needed to manage registrations and to provide advice to workers who come by.