Bayanihan in action: Filipinos replicate Maginhawa community pantry to help pandemic-hit residents

April 16, 2021 - 4:56 PM
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A Quezon City resident installed a "Community Pantry" along Maginhawa using a bamboo cart, so those in need can have free food and supplies. (The STAR/Boy Santos)

Four more community pantries were set up by different Filipinos following the success of the viral initiative along Maginhawa Street in Quezon City.

A Manila resident installed a table with free goods at 1135 P. Noval Street in Sampaloc to help struggling Filipinos amid the prevailing public health crisis.

“Magbigay ayon sa kakayahan, Kumuha batay sa pangangailangan,” Toots Vergara, who is also one of the managers of the Mang Tootz Food House, said in a Facebook post.

He shared that he was inspired by the community pantry in Maginhawa which recently went viral on social media.

“Bumili lang kami ng goods, mga P2,500 din, ‘yung bigas kasi pinortion namin para daily makapaglagay kami,” Vergara shared in an interview.

“We plan to do this until ma-lift ang MECQ (modified enhanced community quarantine). We’ll see what happens in the coming days. Hangga’t meron maibibigay at magbibigay,” he said.

Vergara also encouraged other Filipinos who have to means to set up their own community pantries to help those in need.

Also in Manila, labor group Defend Jobs Philippines, replicated the Maginhawa community pantry at Matimyas Street, Sampaloc.

Dubbed as “Matimyas Workers Pantry,” the group said it seeks to encourage “our poor countrymen to take what they need and for the public to give back what they can for the sustainability of the community pantry.”

“The project was also held to send their message across to the national government to be sensitive and compassionate enough to the sufferings of our poor Filipinos and workers who have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and the administration’s continuing lockdown and community quarantine impositions,” the labor group said.

They are accepting in-kind and cash donations to sustain the workers’ pantry.

Another community pantry was also installed in Los Baños, Laguna by a founder of a call center service in Grove, Barangay Batong Malake.

“Para sa lahat po ito na nangangailangan at para sa mga kaibigan natin na may sobra ay maaari din i-drop off ang kanilang tulong,” Ja Abdel, founder of the Algorhythm Call Center Services, wrote in a Facebook group.

“Kung (may) mga prutas at gulay din po tayo gustong ibigay ay tumatanggap din po kami. Open po ito hanggang 6 p.m. at hanggang may laman pa,” she added.

Another Filipino, Elijah San Fernando, likewise installed a community pantry located at Matiyaga, Brgy. Pinyahan, Diliman, Quezon City.

It is near the Urology Center of the Philippines.

“Inumpisahan ng Maginhawa Community Pantry, sinundan ng Matiyaga! Libreng kamote at mga gulay mula sa ating mga magsasaka! Magbigay batay sa kakayanan, kumuha batay sa pangangailangan!” he wrote.

A resident of Quezon City on Wednesday installed a community pantry using a bamboo cart along Maginhawa Street with the aim to help those who are in need.

Passersby are encouraged to donate food items and other basic goods by leaving them in the cart.

“Wag mahiyang kumuha, andun lang po ‘yun. May hand sanitizer din para sa mga kukuha at mag-iiwan. Kung kayo ay nasa neighborhood, pwede din kayo mag-iwan sa community pantry ng groceries,” Ana Patricia Non wrote before.

“Hindi nito masasagot ang root cause ng kagutuman pero okay na din na pantawid gutom sa mga nangangailangan. Mahirap magtrabaho, mag-aral at lumaban habang kumakalam ang tiyan,” she added.

Non encouraged other Filipinos to set up different community pantries in their areas to offer a helping hand to each other amid a pandemic.