Matthew 25 is a parish community outreach programme serving those in the neighbourhood who are struggling to provide daily meals for themselves. Initiated by the parish priest Fr. Henry Siew, it began in April 2008 with the purpose of offering free breakfast and lunch to the less privileged residents, regardless of race, age or religion.
Matthew 25 is managed by a group of dedicated volunteers who selflessly give their time and energy in various areas of running it - food preparation, cooking and serving, food collection and distribution, cleaning up and the general upkeep of the premises. It is supported and funded by generous benefactors from whom members receive donations of daily essentials such as vegetables, rice, oil, milk, sugar, and eggs, and other supplies. They also receive occasional cash donations.
The needy would walk in for their breakfast and lunch. For those who are immobile, cooked food is delivered to several Seniors Activity Centres. Currently, about 140 Hougang residents come to the church for their breakfast and lunch, with another 190 packed meals delivered to Seniors Activity Centres. Foreign workers make up more than 50 percent of these numbers.
In addition, this ministry holds free haircuts every second Tuesday of the month at the church, with the help of a team of qualified hair stylists led by Ms. Irene Quek. Ms. Quek also conducts free courses on hair-grooming and costume jewellery-making. Course participants pay only for the materials.
Matthew 25's efforts have touched and moved the beneficiaries, and some of these have gone on to receive instruction in the Catholic faith, so radiant is the light of love that shines forth through the compassionate actions of the disciples of Jesus in this Ministry. For example, Mr. Zhao Bao An first came to Matthew 25 for help, and then joined the Migrant Workers' Gospel Station. Though reserved and an introvert, he was struck by the volunteers' humble willingness to serve, and developed gradually a sense of belonging. Through the volunteers, he ventured to enrol in the Mandarin RCIA at Nativity Church, and at Easter night 2012, was baptised into the Catholic faith, commissioned to live the full and Christ-centred life that Jesus promised and to perpetuate the love and compassion that was demonstrated by Jesus and His disciples to the people they meet.
For more information please see, Soup Kitchen.