More Community Pantries Have Popped Up Following the Maginhawa One

At least two more have been spotted!

(SPOT.ph) Today in "News That Will Hopefully Restore Your Faith in Humanity": Two more community pantries have been set up in Metro Manila amid a quarantine that just won't end. We reported about a small community pantry effort started by 26-year-old Patricia Non along Maginhawa Street, Quezon City on April 14—and two days later, two more community pantries are up and running!

The cart that started it all.
PHOTO BY Patricia Non
Folks lined up at the Maginhawa Community Pantry on April 18.
PHOTO BY Cara Oliver
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Goods donated to the pantry on April 18.
PHOTO BY Cara Oliver
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Beside Mang Tootz Food House near Padre Noval Street in Sampaloc, Manila now stands another small food pantry open for the people in their community. This effort was inspired by the Maginhawa community pantry, according to the post of Jeruthielle "Toots" Vergara—which has around 2,300 shares as of writing. They also used the "Magbigay ayon sa kakayahan. Kumuha batay sa pangangailangan" message spotted on Non's cart. 

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Matiyaga Community Pantry

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PHOTO Used with Permission from Elijah San Fernando
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Meanwhile, in front of 34 Matiyaga Street in Quezon City—near the OG Maginhawa effort—is another community pantry put up by farmers from Tarlac and the Magsasaka partylist. They set up a few tables with free root crops and other vegetables from farmers in Paniqui, Tarlac. Spot the same message on display.

Community Pantries
Veggies ran out fast!
PHOTO Used with Permission from Elijah San Fernando

They opened the community pantry in Matiyaga on April 16 and just a few hours later, supplies ran out! "Pinilahan ng mga nanay, tricycle driver, at mga manggagawa ang community pantry kaya ubos na po agad ang [first] batch ng mga gulay," said Elijah San Fernando in a Facebook post. No worries though as they are already working on a second batch, they told SPOT.ph in an online exchange.

The partylist's HQ is right along Matiyaga Street, head of special projects Asiong Lim, explains in another exchange with SPOT.ph. In 2018, they started an initiative to buy produce from farmers that were bound for landfill "because traders are offering pamatay na presyo." During the lockdown, they opened up rolling stores in different barangays across the Metro with produce from farmers as well as donated to different community kitchens—and it just so happens that one of the people they donated to include Non's mother, Zena Bernardo, who runs community kitchens in Marikina. This is how they "were inspired to replicate" the community pantry. 

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The recent two-week ECQ in NCR+ left nearly 1.5 million people jobless, according to the Department of Trade and Industry. The shift to MECQ allowed for only around 500,000 of that number to go back to work. Seemingly small efforts like this may not be able to solve such huge problems, but at the very least it will give some hope to those who are not sure where their next meal will come from.

As Non pointed out in the interview with SPOT.ph, you can certainly start your own community pantry effort—and these two more pantries definitely prove it's possible to do so. 

If you would like to learn more about or help with the Matiyaga Community Pantry project, you may contact Asiong Lim through 0921-302-2864.

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