BEHIND THE STORY
Share a pot was brought to life from our memories of traditional family reunions around a bowl of nutritious soup. We were inspired to carry out sessions that replicate family dinners to create a sense of belonging among the seniors that will eventually improve their social, physical and psychological well-being.
Realising the nourishment soups provide to one’s body and soul, we thus imagined a community in which seniors unite around a pot of hot soup to rally and encourage each other to grow stronger and live well, regardless of age, gender, race, and religion.
With tools, knowledge and a supportive community behind them, we hoped seniors would feel empowered to exercise appropriately, eat nutritious food, and build strong bonds of friendship. This vision resonated with volunteers, grocers, sponsors and social service organisations, and with their help the first share a pot pilot was launched at St. Luke’s Eldercare Centre in 2014.
Since then, we have expanded to more than 30 different locations with some participants even coming forward to help us spread the message of health and happiness. With the support of our communities, we hope no one will go hungry but instead grow stronger if someone shares a pot every day!
Share a pot is a community-based project to improve the nutrition and fitness of community-dwelling seniors. In this project, seniors meet at centres within their own community to exercise and enjoy a bowl of nutritious soup together. This stimulates a prolonged increase in muscle synthesis for as long as 24 hours after. Beyond these weekly meet-ups, seniors take ownership of their own fitness by tracking the steps they take daily with a pedometer in exchange for reward stamps and tokens of participation. This gives the seniors the opportunity to not only fill their time with meaningful activities but also expand their social circle.
Our programme runs in cycles of 12 weeks to facilitate regular monitoring of our participating seniors' fitness levels, and track their progress through the physical, functional and psycho-social assessments. Any decline can be picked up for early attention and intervention.
The S$1.50* bowl of soup goes a long way. The benefits of share a pot extends beyond the immediate value of a meal and exercise, to friendships and even community-building. It has moved beyond mere soup to become a social catalyst that brings volunteers, market-stall owners and other community members together to put what they can into the commons and sustain the programme.