80 families benefit from community pantry in Mandaue

·3 min read

MORE than 80 families in Barangay Tipolo, Mandaue City benefited from the community pantry set up by a group of college students from the University of the Philippines (UP) Cebu during the two days of their operation.

Being busy UP-Cebu college students did not stop these individuals from helping the community, establishing the Sugbo Community Pantry.

Janneloise Baylon, one of its founders, told Sunstar Cebu that they started with a simple meeting in their school organization until one of their friends brought up that they should set up a community pantry in Cebu. At that time, there was still no community pantry in Cebu.

She said they were inspired by the community pantry initiated by the Maginhawa Community Pantry in Luzon.

Baylon said they looked for another community pantry in Cebu to support aside from setting up their own and found the community pantry in Barangay Gun-ob, Lapu-Lapu City.

Holding on to the inspiration, Baylon said their group of friends proceeded to their preparation in setting up a community pantry.

Baylon said the community pantry was also made possible through the integrated effort of the community, friends and alumni who are supportive of the project.

Baylon said they initially planned to have the community pantry in Lapu-Lapu City, but due to communication delay with the location, they decided to move to Mandaue City.

She said they wanted to start their community pantry immediately, so they decided to have it at the back gate of Colegio de la Immaculada Concepcion (CIC) Mandaue with the help of CIC-Mandaue alumni friends coordinating with the school.

Baylon is grateful to the sisters in CIC-Mandaue for allowing them to occupy some space of the school and also donating freshly picked vegetables from the sister's garden.

The Sugbo Community Pantry started on Thursday, April 22, 2021.

She said 30 minutes after they opened the community pantry, supplies ran out fast.

Baylon said it has helped more than 40 families.

Supplies displayed at their pantry were dried goods such as noodles, rice, canned goods, among others.

On the second day of operation on Saturday, Baylon said they also helped more than 40 families.

The Sugbo Community Pantry is open to all who lack the resources for their daily needs.

Baylon said they implemented minimum health protocols during the activities, especially social distancing and sanitizing the hands before picking goods.

The barangay tanod of Barangay Tipolo also helped them in maintaining minimum health protocols.

Baylon said their group is a bit challenged in making their community pantry sustainable.

From the two days of their operation, their supplies usually ran out after 30 minutes. An ideal community pantry is supposed to have a sustainable supply and can be left unattended.

Baylon said, for now, they still man the community pantry so that the supplies could last until the last person in line.

She said they are open for donations either in cash or in kind. Kind-hearted people who want to donate may visit their official Facebook page Sugbo Community Pantry for details.

For transparency, the Sugbo Community Pantry also posts the weekly financial liquidation of donations on their Facebook page.

From April 21 to April 24, the group generated P18,974 and spent P18,964 for 60 kilos of vegetables, three sacks of rice, 320 pieces of canned goods, and 13 trays of eggs. (KFD)