BAYANIHAN: Communities set up pantries to give free food to Filipinos badly hit by pandemic

MANILA, Philippines – Several communities in and out of Metro Manila have set up community pantries offering free food to Filipinos badly hit by the COVID-19 pandemic after Maginhawa community pantry started the initiative.

The country’s first community pantry located along Maginhawa Street in Quezon City features a two-layer bamboo shelf which contains rice, canned goods, vegetables, milk, as well as vitamins. While many residents in need were able to get their supplies from the pantry, good samaritans also came to donate in order to refill the pantry. Ana Patricia Non, 26, started the initiative.

Inspired by the movement, residents in Quezon City, Manila as well as Los Baños, Laguna have also put up their own community pantries.

community pantry Quezon City
Photo credit: Twiter/ Anjo Bagaoisan, Elijah San Fernando

Residents of Matiyaga Street in Brgy. Pinyahan in Quezon City opened up their own community pantry near the Urology Center of the Philippines two days after the Maginhawa stall opened. Root crops purchased from farmers in Central Luzon were given to the needy including tricycle drivers, mothers and other workers in the community and neighboring areas.

On the other hand, restaurant owner Toots Vergara used the same concept in order to help needy residents in Sampaloc, Manila. He put up a table with rice, canned goods, vegetables and instant noodles in front of his restaurant. After sharing this initiative online, several good samaritans supported the movement and sent goods or donations to keep the pantry filled.

Moreover, two of Vergara’s contacts have shared their plans to start their own community pantries in Bambang and Tondo, Manila.

In Los Baños, Laguna, a community pantry started by Ja Abdel had already received P30,000 worth of donations from friends and strangers. The grocery items were placed on tables in front of their office located at at LB Grove, Batong Malake, Los Baños, Laguna.

— Mini, The Summit Express

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