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Healthier Food Donation Recommendation

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What is the Healthier Food Donation Recommendation?

The “Healthier Food Donation Recommendation” aims to guide charity organisations, voluntary welfare organisations, community organisations as well as individual donor(s) in choosing healthier food products across the main food groups for the donation packs to their beneficiaries.

Any individuals or organisations with questions about the Recommendations or those who fulfil the guidelines set out in the Recommendations and wish to obtain HPB’s healthier choice endorsement for their food donation packs, may write to

What are the Healthier Food Donation Recommendation guidelines?

Food donation packs can qualify for HPB’s endorsement if they fulfil all the following criteria:

1a. Contain at least one item in each of the five main food groups1:

A. Staples
B. Oils
C. Meat and Alternative
D. Dairy and Alternative
E. Fruit and Vegetables

1b. Have at least one product with the Healthier Choice Symbol (HCS), HCS-equivalent2 or fresh3 item in each of the five main food groups. They may or may not be endorsed with the HCS logo:


2. Discretionary foods are of poor nutritional value and should be consumed in limited quantities4.If the food donation pack contains such discretionary foods, they will have to comply with the following requirements:

Discretionary food groups


F. Beverages

At least one HCS or HCS-equivalent item.

G. Snacks

Recommend to limit

H. Sauces and condiments

Recommend to limit

3. At least one third (1/3) of the items in the food pack to be HCS2, HCS-equivalentor fresh3.

What are the main food groups and discretionary food groups?

Click on the accordion items below for more information on the main food groups and the discretionary food groups.

Main Food Groups
SN Food Groups Definition Examples of HCS, HCS equivalent2 or fresh items3
A Oils Oil for cooking Vegetable cooking oils
(examples: Corn, olive, canola, peanut, soybean or sunflower oil)
B Staples Staples consists of carbohydrates that include rice, noodles, pasta, bread and cereals that are consumed at main meals. These products can be unrefined (e.g. white bread) or wholemeal (e.g. brown bread). Mixed brown rice
Wholemeal bread
Brown rice bee hoon/ Vermicelli
Instant noodles
C Meat and alternatives Meat and alternatives consists of protein from both animal (e.g. eggs, sardines, chicken) and plant sources (e.g. beans, nuts). These products can be fresh (e.g. eggs, tofu), canned or processed (e.g. canned tuna, sausages). Fresh Eggs
Canned beans (e.g. kidney beans, baked beans)
Canned fish (e.g. sardine, tuna)
Dried beans (e.g. mung, red, split)
D Dairy and alternatives Dairy and alternatives consists of products made from milk that are from animal (e.g. cow’s milk) and plant (e.g. soy-bean milk) sources. These products can be fresh (e.g. milk) or processed (e.g. condensed milk). Unsweetened, full or low fat, plain milk (fresh or UHT or powdered)
Condensed milk
Yogurt or yogurt drinks
E Fruits and vegetables Fruit and vegetables consists of plant produce that can be in fresh, canned, frozen, dried or preserved form. Dried Fruits
Canned fruit/ vegetables (e.g. canned kernel corn, canned button mushrooms)
Fruit jam
Kai Lan

Discretionary Food Groups
SN Food Groups Definition Examples of HCS, HCS equivalent2 or fresh items3
F Beverages Beverages consist of any drink products. This category, however, exclude dairy beverages (e.g. milk, yogurt drinks or soy milk). Malted and chocolate powdered drinks
Cereal drinks
G Snacks Snacks include confectionary (e.g. biscuits, chocolates) and processed foods that are eaten usually between meals. Biscuits and crackers
Cakes and muffins
Potato chips
H Sauces and condiments Sauces and condiments consists of seasoning products Chilli sauce
Maggi sauce
Soy sauce
Oyster sauce
Kicap manis
Chicken powder

1Eating balanced meals are important for healthy diets.  The five food groups are selected to provide a balance of foods from the major food groups. For more information on eating balanced meals, refer to HPB’s My Healthy Plate:

2To qualify as HCS Equivalent, products must adhere to the relevant Healthier Choice Symbol Guidelines (updated regularly on the HPB website “”.

3‘Fresh’ foods are foods that are raw and unprocessed such as: oranges, bananas, apples, tomatoes, brinjal, okra and kai lan

4Discretionary food consumption should be limited as they are high in salt, sugar or fat.