Community pantries have sprouted all over the Philippines, thanks to the influence of a Quezon City resident who wanted to help Filipinos who have been badly affected by the pandemic. Now, the idea has reached Muntinlupa where several professionals thought of setting up their own community food bank for their neighbors.
Feed It Forward PH was an idea hatched one weekend by friends Carlo Lamasan, Denise Simone Cerdena, Jayson Villeza, Maan D’Asis- Pamaran, Mark Daniel Tarre, Ram Hipol, and Romar Dagupan. The group thought of starting the pantry on Saturday, and by Sunday, they were up and running. The pantry is currently located at St. Peregrine Laziosi Parish and Diocesan Shrine in the village of Tunasan.
Pamaran, a lifestyle and business reporter, was the first in the group to have heard of the Quezon City pantry, and immediately floated the possibility of replicating the project with other group members.
“Someone gave me money that I could use in my small random donations which I give on the streets. So I gave it to them. They were also able to raise funds with their own network. They acted quickly. They produced relief packs for a community in San Pedro, Laguna who lost their homes in a fire and they also bought some items for our pantry,” she said.
At present, only a few people know of their project, but Pamaran said they need all the help that they can get. She is particularly struck by how desperate people have become.
“[P]eople were looking for milk for their kids. Their priority is their children,” she said.
Pamaran and the other team members are going to maintain the project “in the long run,” adding that they are apolitical and have no intention to run for public office.
“There were strangers who reached out to our group page. So we get Gcash donations and some have been bringing items,” she said.
“We are lucky to have the support of the St. Peregrine Laziosi Parish and Diocesan Shrine who gave us a good spot and the village officials of Tunasan who have lent us the table and chairs,” she said.
This article, ‘Bayanihan’ in action: Here’s how you can help Muntinlupa’s community pantry, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia's leading alternative media company.