The Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund (SPMF) started in 2000 as a community project initiated by The Straits Times to provide pocket money to children from low-income families to help them through school. The children can use this money for school-related expenses, such as buying a meal during recess, paying for their bus fares or using it to meet their other schooling needs. The financial help also eases the burden of the many parents who are already struggling to feed their families on their meagre incomes.
The Fund supports over 10,000 children and youth a year. Since the project started in 2000, the Fund has disbursed close to $42m and helped over 128,000 cases of children and youth in providing them with monthly school pocket money.
SPMF was established as a Trust on 20 October 2010 with a Board of Trustees and was granted charity status on 14 November 2011 with Institution of A Public Character (IPC) status effective from 1 January 2012.
Since its inception as a community project to its transition to a full-fledged charity, The Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund has been working closely with its strategic partner, the National Council of Social Service (NCSS), which disburses the pocket money to beneficiaries through its network of family service centres, special schools and children's homes.
As at May 2014, there are 69 SPMF appointed disbursing agencies. These comprise of 46 family service centres, 6 Children's Homes, 17 SPED schools, disability VWO and Specialised School.