Community Pantry: ignites the bayanihan spirit of Daonhons

Photo courtesy of Kabataan Kontra Droga at Terorismo (KKDAT)

From each according to his ability, to each according to his need – community pantries pop up in different regions of the country in response to famine and unemployment amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Small food booths with the slogan “Magbigay ayon sa kakayahan, kumuha batay sa pangangailangan”, (Give what you can, take what you need) appeared in different towns in Antique.

The first in Antique, the Calle Onse pantry, a joint project between Renalyn Valenzuela, an elementary teacher in Sibalom and her cousins from abroad, started operations last April 18.

After the town of Sibalom, community pantries in nearby municipalities started to operate to extend help and give individuals necessities in their respective community.

In the town of Tobias Fornier, the spirit of Bayanihan ignited the heart of every Daonhon to put up the pantry where it allowed people to donate and get food for free.

In an interview, Jenilyn Sayton Tarroja, one of the minds behind the community pantry concept, explained the context and purpose of their project.

“It was my own will to share the blessings I have. I am not going to take the credit because this is actually a community effort. It is just a simple way of sharing”.

Jenilyn conducted feeding program yearly but due to the pandemic she was able to alternate her projects in putting up community pantry.

“Until now, I am continuously sharing as much as I have with the families who undergo 14 days of quarantine. I joined the police forces together with youth organizations in order to lead pantries in nearby barangays”. She

Traditional exchange of goods or barter is highly encouraged. Items such as vegetables can be exchanged for rice, noodles, and canned goods they received in order to sustain the pantry in the long run.

John Eric Dalumpines Saymo, a third year college student in University of Antique, benefitted from the community pantry. He thanked the humble sponsor who donated a Wi-Fi to help him cope with his online learning.

“I am overwhelmed and very much happy to receive Wi-Fi. This will be a great help in accessing my online class. To whoever donated this, thank you so much and may you receive a thousand fold of blessings. I promise to make good grades this year despite of pandemic in order to pay your generosity to me.” John says.

The barangays of Opsan, Villafor, and Arobo have also put up their own community pantry through the initiatives of the SK chairpersons together with barangay officials.

The camaraderie of every individual manifested through donations in the form of goods such as vegetables and groceries. Farmers from barangays have been selling their produce to them. A big help to the farmers who could not sell their produce before it spoils.

For Ken Bernilou Sasi, president of KKDAT – a combined police and youth organization, the community pantry represents the compassion of every member of the community.

“This community pantry was created to create unity for all to help everyone who is in need. Because in the times of pandemic or any crisis, there is no rich who doesn’t need help, and there is no poor who cannot give help,” he explained.

Organizations like Psi Sigma Phil, Alumni Corporation, and PNP Dao have been inspired to put up their own “bayanihan” pantry.

This is to encourage and inspire other organizations to extend their helping hands within their capacity to help others.

Written by Carla Chin Dollopac

Carla is a BSED English student at the University of Antique. This article is part of the e-newsletter submitted as a group output for the Campus Journalism course of the BSED program in the College of Teacher Education.

Author: theprismdaily

The Official Student Publication of University of Antique Main Campus

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