This Site Gives Veggies to Families in Need for Every Box You Buy
Plus, the produce is sourced directly from farmers.
(SPOT.ph) We all know that fruits and vegetables are good for us, especially with the need to strengthen our immune system in light of the current pandemic. But anyone who’s had to walk kilometers to the nearest grocery or wait in line to buy necessities would know: procuring fruits and vegetables can be difficult these days. At the same time, the pandemic has especially affected the poor, with many cash-strapped families forced to stay home and stop work for the time being. Farmers have also been greatly affected, with issues such as dropping prices plus the presence of checkpoints and lack of quarantine passes limiting their ability to sell their produce.
Enter Gising Gising—a service that offers boxes of fresh vegetables and conveniently delivers them to your doorstep. But what sets Gising Gising apart from other similar ventures is that it is also a social enterprise. For every box you buy—each of which costs P950, containing six to eight kilograms' worth of fresh produce (that’s good for two to three people for a week!) sourced directly from ethically operated farms in Benguet and Quezon—Gising Gising also donates a box to a family in need.
Co-founder TJ Malvar shares that he was inspired to start the venture with friends Tonyo Silva and Celina Borromeo from the experiences they had during the quarantine, as well as his own realizations on the food supply chain as he was running community kitchen PUSOKitchen. “I learned about how much vegetables cost when sourced directly from the farmer, and how it is the middlemen who are really earning a lot of money,” he shares. “The farmers, especially smallholder farmers, are at the mercy of middlemen.”
Malvar learned that vegetables are expensive due to their perishable nature, which means retailers have to absorb the cost of potentially unsold vegetables due to spoilage. “It also didn't sit well with us how there were farmers struggling to sell their produce, to the point that they were being dumped by the roadside, while at the same time families in low-income communities were struggling to feed themselves because of the ricing prices of commodities,” he laments. In the midst of all this is the COVID-19 pandemic—which means people have to maintain social distancing, but also take care of themselves with proper nutrition and adequate rest.
Gising Gising attempts to address these said issues by sourcing from farming communities and helping provide food for people in need, and offering vegetables at prices that are at par with what you’d find at the supermarket.
As they were starting out, Malvar recounts, they were only able to bring a limited number of boxes during a visit to Payatas, and it wasn’t enough to cover everyone. But as each box contained more than enough, he witnessed the recipients share the contents with their neighbors who weren’t able to receive boxes. “It is that kind of spirit of Bayanihan that we hope to promote to each and every person that GisingGising impacts,” he shares.
Since being founded in April, Gising Gising has donated to families in Barangay Calawis, Antipolo—one of the poorest and most remote barangays in Antipolo City—and Payatas, Quezon City. And they’re only just beginning—you can also nominate other communities for them to reach out to. “Down the road, we also hope to implement community development programs geared towards improving access to primary health care services and creating sustainable livelihood opportunities,” Malvar shares.
this strange new world.