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 an average of 10,000 children and youth yearly. Since the project started in 2000, the Fund has disbursed over $34m and helped over 105,000 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 2012 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 July 2013, there are 67 SPMF appointed disbursing agencies. These comprise of 43 family service centres, 6 Children's Homes, 15 special schools/ disability VWOs, 1 Specialised School – Assumption Pathway School and 1 non-FSC -Centre for Promoting Alternatives to Violence (PAVE).