Another Year Of Helping Out With Project R.I.C.E.+ 2021Iqbal Ghani
From helping out with the delivery planning part of the project to the actual distribution phase, all of us involved with Project R.I.C.E.+ 2020 had such a rewarding time that we were all waiting with excitement for this year’s edition.
For the second year running, we’re proud to be a sponsor for Project R.I.C.E.+, providing free use of both Detrack and ElasticRoute to help the team plan out the delivery process and routes when it was time to distribute the different bundle sets to those in need.
What is Project R.I.C.E.+?
Project R.I.C.E.+ is an annual, nation-wide collection and distribution drive championed by youth leaders from Singapore Red Cross, to bring food and daily essentials to vulnerable families. It stands for:
- Raise awareness of food insecurity
- Inculcate compassion and volunteerism among the volunteers
- Care and concern for the less privileged
- Extend a helping hand
- + Providing more than rice
Planning with Detrack
Just like last year, the Project R.I.C.E.+ team, who were made up of mainly students and members of the Red Cross Youth Chapters (RCYC), visited our office a couple of months before the actual project started to begin planning the logistics side of the project and how Detrack could help.
Our delivery tracking and electronic proof of delivery solution was a huge hit with the previous Project Directors as they highly recommended their successors about using Detrack.
The Project R.I.C.E.+ team for this year, which included Jerrold, Janevy, Wen Ying, and Hilary, worked together with our colleagues to come up with the delivery plan during the Distribution Phase. They consolidated the number of drivers available, and planned it against the number of deliveries needed to be made on the days of distribution.
This year, our route planning solution, ElasticRoute, was also heavily used to generate the most optimized routes for the deliveries. With stops intentionally planned to be in the same area, drivers this time around would not need to travel too far to get to the many beneficiaries.
Total amount raised
Before the Distribution Phase, we were all blown away when we found out the total amount raised for Project R.I.C.E.+ 2021 was $229,046!
That huge amount collected was used to pack and distribute a total of 22,905 bundles.
To recap, beneficiaries for Project R.I.C.E.+ were able to select which bundles they wanted, and how many.
For example, set A includes daily essentials like soap and toothbrushes/toothpastes, while set B and C include different food items ranging from instant coffee and crackers to cooking oil and rice. Set D on the other hand will include necessities like adult diapers (which can be very costly but much needed) and wet wipes, among other items.
This year, we reported at the massive ITE College East campus, which was one of the two depots during the Distribution Phase.
A couple of us (thanks, Terence and Charles!) were stationed at each depot to ensure the deliveries went according to plan and all bundles were accounted for. Along with project committee members, they communicated with other volunteers who were doing the actual deliveries to beneficiaries.
According to Project Director Jerrold, “The Detrack Driver app allows us to easily transfer jobs between drivers, which is an extremely useful feature as the delivery process remains seamless even if a beneficiary is not at home to receive the bundles.”
“Detrack’s Contactless Delivery with Remote Signature feature was also very, very useful as we did not want to expose our beneficiaries, who were vulnerable, to unnecessary contact”, added Jerrold.
Off we go!
With the various bundles packed and loaded in the respective vehicles, it was time for me to move out.
Thanks to all the vigorous planning months before, the deliveries went on without a hitch. The beneficiaries I had to deliver to were all staying around the same area. It took me approximately 2 hours to complete 10 deliveries. Not bad!
With all the commotion of planning the deliveries and making sure the jobs were completed on the Detrack Driver app, I sometimes forget about the main purpose of Project R.I.C.E.+ – to provide assistance to those in need.
Beneficiaries of Project R.I.C.E.+ are made up of vulnerable families in Singapore which include low-income families, skipped generation families, single parent households, the elderly, and also migrant workers.
Seeing the happy and thankful faces of the beneficiaries when they receive the parcels was such a rewarding feeling, and it definitely made all the hard work worth it.
Such a rewarding experience
At the end of the Distribution Phase, the project committee informed us that approximately 21,182 beneficiaries across Singapore received the bundle sets. Amazing!
We were also informed that with the help of Detrack and ElasticRoute, a total of 70 vehicles were carefully planned and deployed to deliver to 752 locations all over the country.
Once again, we had such a great and rewarding experience being involved in Project R.I.C.E.+ 2021, and cannot wait to do it all over again next year.
As always, a huge shoutout to Jerrold and the rest of the Project R.I.C.E.+ committee for giving us the opportunity to get involved again this year. See you guys in 2022!