Community pantries lauded for alleviating hunger

COMMUNITY PANTRY. The Sanggunian Kabataan (SK) of San Nicolas 1 in Magalang, Pampanga set up a community pantry to assist their barangaymates amid the Covid-19 pandemic. (Chris Navarro)

THE National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC) lauded community pantries nationwide for helping provide food for the needy amid the Covid-19 pandemic, a move that complements the agency’s Kaisa ng Sambayanan Laban sa Kahirapan (Kasambayanihan) Volunteers Program that undertakes similar efforts at the barangay level.

Speaking before the NAPC’s second virtual general assembly for April, Secretary Noel Felongco cited the pantries as an exemplary example of the “bayanihan” spirit of the Filipinos.

He also underscored the importance of working together to overcome the numerous challenges that the nation is currently facing.

“Nais kong ibahagi sa lahat ang mga balitang nakakapagpataba ng puso na ating natutunghayan online, kung saan napakarami ng komunidad ang nahimok ng community pantry at nagtatag ng kani-kanilang mga community pantries hindi lamang dito sa NCR (National Capital Region) kung hindi maging sa iba’t ibang mga probinsya sa Pilipinas para sa mga higit na nangangailangan ngayong panahon ng pandemya (It warms the heart whenever I see reports online of community pantries, not just in the NCR but also in provinces, especially those who are helping people in need amid the pandemic),” he said in a news release on Monday, April 19.

“Tunay nga na sa mga ganitong hamon at pagsubok, ang pagkakaisa at pagtutulungan ng bawat isa ang higit na kailangan upang ang mga ito ay mapagtagumpayan (It is in times of adversity that we need to unite to overcome trials),” Felongco added, as he expressed his desire to partner with community pantries to help meet the government’s goal of ending poverty.

The mushrooming of community pantries is also the essence of Kasambayanihan where volunteers formed barangay command centers to help residents by gathering and distributing relief goods at the height of community quarantines.

Kasambayanihan is tasked with implementing the programs of Sambayanihan Serbisyong Sambayanan, the NAPC’s five-year poverty alleviation development plan.

One of the plan’s primary goals is to enhance food security by enabling local agricultural production to satisfy local food demand and prioritize local food requirements.

This will allow community members who are usually financially strapped, to buy their own produce. It upholds their rights to consistent access to safe, nutritious, and culturally acceptable food. (PR)


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