With more and more community pantries being set up in the Philippines, Filipinos have gotten creative in reaching out to others in this time of need.
The powerful idea, which was started by Ana Patricia Non along Maginhawa Street in Quezon City, has turned into a movement. It has sparked similar initiatives in different parts of the country, with the count exceeding 350, as of this writing.
The goal remains the same as Pinoys continue to extend a helping hand in more ways than one. Unique community pantries have popped up in some areas, offering items that go beyond grocery essentials. Here are a few that made the rounds on social media.
A community pantry in Antipolo City just doubled the good cause by going zero waste! Its organizers are encouraging residents to reduce their carbon footprint by following a BYOB (Bring Your Own Bag/Bottle) system in refilling condiments such as soy sauce, vinegar, and cooking oil. For monetary and in-kind donations, you may reach them at 09095977373 or 09352129979.
Meanwhile, a Makati community pantry particularly focuses on feeding street cats and dogs. “H’wag natin kalimutan na bahagi rin sila ng ating community,” community pawntry organizer Avien Rosete wrote in a Facebook post. If you wish to donate pet food, you may drop by No. 107 Kalayaan Avenue, Makati City, situated beside the Abalos-Casas Dental Clinic.
The Philippine Animal Welfare Society has set up its own version along Aurora Boulevard, where pet owners can get food for their furry friends without a cost. You may drop off your donations at PAWS Animal Rehabilitation Center.
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“Protect your mental health.” A netizen put up a community pantry containing free toys and comic books for everyone along Pasig City.
Just like toys, books can also help people cope with the pandemic. Did you know that there’s a community pantry in Quezon City offering good reads? “All the books we have brought here have been sanitized/wiped clean with alcohol/Lysol and we have also put them individually/UV-lamped them in a UV box that we have at home. Also, the ones who touched the books were asked to sanitize their hands (with the hand sanitizer we have brought with us),” Lorna Zaragosa of The Happy Liblarry wrote on Facebook.
Initiated by the LGBT-Queens Organization, a Davao community pantry is offering contraceptives like pills and condoms as well as water-based lubricants to promote family planning and sexual health. "As a health advocate po, gusto ko lang po ibigay sa community ang access of prevention sa pagtaas ng cases ng STD/HIV and AIDS," said lead organizer Regie Manginsay.
“Get love and give love.” Fans of iconic K-pop group BTS set up a BTS-themed community pantry in Cavite to offer vegetables and rice for free. For financial donations, you may send them through GCash at 09499422289 (Shyra Doroteo) or PNB at 245210037761.
Article thumbnails from Jr Papel, Avien Rosete, Arlan Kortez, and Regie Manginsay