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In the Philippines, one woman’s food pantry creates a ripple effect of goodwill


Photo courtesy of Saint Vincent de Paul Parish Manila

Fr. Atilano Fajardo - published on 04/21/21

Community pantries in Manila and other provinces in the Philippines show the Filipino “bayanihan” spirt of working together and helping each other out.

The coronavirus pandemic and the lockdown have left residents of metropolitan Manila, and neighboring cities struggling for survival.

As movement has been limited and work suspended in non-essential industries, those who have meager incomes have had difficulty putting food to their table. 

It started with one food pantry

One woman named Patricia Non, from Quezon City, Philippines, took matters into her own hands. She came up with the idea to start a food pantry to address her neighbors’ immediate needs. The Maginhawa Community Pantry aims to help people in who lost their jobs who have no or little means to sustain their basic needs — especially food.

The community pantry uses the slogan “take as much as you need and donate whatever you can,” encouraging everyone to help one another in this time of pandemic. 

“Take as much as you need, and donate what you can.”

The Maginhawa Community Pantry

The initiative that started in Maginhawa Street became an inspiration to other people to also do the same in their areas.

In a matter of days, different community pantries in Metro Manila and other provinces in the Philippines emerged showing the Filipino “bayanihan” spirit (community spirit, working together, unity and cooperation).

One single good act inspires imitators

A simple initiative sparks the natural goodness and generosity of the Filipinos. One single good act created a ripple effect and encouraged many to volunteer their services and share their resources with others. 

The Catholic Bishop Conference of the Philippines urged the different parishes to set up their respective community pantries to help people, especially families who were displaced and lost their income due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Indeed, through the collective efforts and generosity of each one to share, there is hope in the midst of this uncertain time.

The hashtag #CommunityPantry gives an indication of how the initiative has caught on:

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