Just because you’re stuck indoors doesn’t mean you can’t be a part of the beautiful community pantry movement that’s continuing to spread throughout the country, despite intrusion and fears of red-tagging. (Seriously, leave the kind and compassionate alone and let them do what the heartless can’t.)
Ana Patricia Non started things with her Maginhawa Community Pantry and you can lend a hand, too.
Here are some ways you can help:
Donate. There are so many community pantries all over the country that you can give to. There’s also a Facebook group—Community Pantry PH—meant for organizers, donors and advocates of community pantries. You’ll find a database of community pantries there and more specific ways to help.
The University of the Philippines Department of Geography, Mental Health AWHEREness, MapBeks and Ministry of Mapping are also working on mapping the community pantries (bit.ly/communitypantrymap)—as of press time, they had mapped 342 pantries, according to Mikko Tamura. You can choose one that’s in your own community. Send over food and basic pandemic necessities—canned goods, rice, noodles, vegetables, fruits, alcohol, masks. As the community pantry mantra goes: “Magbigay ayon sa kakayahan.”
Cordillera Landing on You, or CLOY (facebook.com/cordilleralandingonyou), a social enterprise which has been helping local producers, farmers and indigenous communities in Cordillera by buying their products and bringing them to customers in the National Capital Region, has introduced a Pantry Pack. The pack, meant for donating to community pantries, contains a selection of fresh vegetables and is sold at cost for just P100—”no profit, all help,” says CLOY’s Tina Arceo-Dumlao.
Cash donations are helpful, too, and with cash donations, you can offer aid to community pantries in other parts of the country. GCash, Paymaya and online bank transfers are easy ways to send money for people to use—and you don’t have to leave your home.
Encourage others to donate, too—even the people in your household. People really do want to help, sometimes they just need a nudge. And sometimes they also just need a little help.
Maybe your grandparents need a crash course on how to send cashless donations. Maybe your mom needs assistance in booking a rider who can bring canned goods from your kitchen to a community pantry.
Do a barkada donation. Turn your upcoming birthday into a chance to give.
Share posts and information about community pantries on social media. Not only are these stories of kindness a breath of fresh air, they’re a great way to inspire more people to put up pantries in more communities and to donate—the more pantries there are, the more people could be helped. Seeing acts of generosity has the power to move others to give. INQ