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    Jun 13, 2016

    Stall charges elderly only $1 or $2

    AT A mixed-rice stall in Toa Payoh, older folks who are poor can buy economy rice or fried beehoon at any price they wish - whether it is $2 or $1 - or even get the food for free.

    Citizen journalism website Stomp broke the news on Wednesday, and more have been flocking to the stall at Block 128, Toa Payoh Lorong 1, including new elderly patrons.

    The stall was first discovered by an unnamed Facebook user who noticed that an elderly woman in front of him had paid $1 for a box of beehoon that he himself paid $2.50 for.

    He heard the woman saying: "Why do you always sell me such cheap beehoon?

    "How can beehoon cost only $1?"

    Wanbao visited the stall and spoke to Ye Jianhui, 40, who runs the stall with his brother Jianhua, 42.

    The younger man told Wanbao that they have helped needy older folk in such a manner for four years.

    He added that they have worked in the area for six years and recognise the elderly folk there, many of whom have sad stories.

    One woman, who is in her 80s, touched him the most. She suffers from rheumatism and lives alone.

    Her son contracted cancer recently, and her daughter does not earn much, so she does not have much money.

    He noted that she always orders only a packet of rice with vegetables. However, he will add meat and not take money for it, as he treats her like "his own family".

    Since the news broke, business has been booming at the stall, Wanbao reported yesterday.

    "I originally wanted to help the poor older folk in the area but since (new seniors) turned up, it's not nice to disappoint them, so I sold them meals at one or two dollars," said the younger Mr Ye.

    Other than new customers, many readers went to the stall, some to see if it really sold meals at a low price, and others to thank the stallholders.

    The latter's mother, Lin Qinqzhu, told the paper that business has improved and that they have to beef up the amount of food cooked.

    "We have to prepare more ingredients and cook more dishes but that's fine; it's more important that the elderly are happy," said the 62-year-old.

    "Their 'thank you' makes us feel satisfied."