#TD Day 2023
📷 1: Students from [ITE College West] serving chicken stew to participants of the Total Defence Community Table-top Exercise.
📷 2: Students from [ITE College West] posing for the camera!
📷 3: Chap chye served by the students on 15 Feb 2023.
During the Total Defence Day Commemoration Event 2023 at Chua Chu Kang Community Club, students from ITE College West whipped up healthy, delicious meals for all present at the event with a limited range of ingredients, simulating a time of crisis where food supplies and ingredients may be scarce.
Indeed, food scarcity was a situation our forefathers found themselves facing during the harrowing years of the Japanese Occupation which lasted from 1942 to 1945. As food supply chains were cut off, many businesses and families were forced to adjust their cooking and eating habits – for instance, switching from rice to other more easily available carbohydrates such as tapioca and sweet potatoes. It was this spirit of resilience, adaptability, and resourcefulness that helped many of them survive the difficult years of the Japanese Occupation.
Singapore continues to face a world rife with geopolitical tension and difficulties. And as we have seen in recent years, supply chain shocks will occur in the event of a major crisis or disruption.
During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, mandatory lock-downs and disrupted food supply chains meant that even citizens in the richest countries felt the squeeze in food supplies. The ongoing Russian-Ukraine war has also affected commercial food supply lines for many across the world.
Singapore maintains a national stockpile of essential items, such as rice, infant milk powder, proteins and vegetables to tide us over critical periods. At the height of the pandemic, on March 2020, former Minister of Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing assured our nation that while we may have to make some adjustment to our choices, there are sufficient supplies for all Singaporeans, “so long as we buy responsibly”.
But national food stockpiles aside, being ‘crises-ready’ requires cultivating a resilient mindset. During the TD commemoration event, our ITE students learnt to adapt and work with whatever they were given, making hearty meals that could keep them going. Every generation has its challenges, but together, we can keep Singapore strong!