The hero behind the idea is 26-year-old Ana Patricia Non.
In an interview with GMA News Online, she said that she was both inspired and “agitated” by the current lockdown situation that the country is in due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“The unemployment rate is high, the line for relief goods is long, and Pinoys are hungry,” she said in Filipino. “We have been demanding a lot, but supplies are not enough. We really need to help each other. Community effort.”
And community effort really is needed to maintain the pantry, she said, because she can’t afford to be the only one providing goods.
“I hoped that donations would come through because I can’t do it by myself. But now I’m more confident because there are a lot who donated goods,” she added.
Ana has been struggling due to the quarantine herself. As a small-time business owner, she said that her finances were really affected.
It has been two months since she stopped earning income.
But despite this, Ana said that she still considered herself privileged.
“While at home, I always think that I’m so privileged because I get to eat three time a day, and even though my budget is tight, at least I still have one. What about those who have nothing at all? They are dependent on their daily income for their food,” she said.
Ana’s idea of a Community Pantry was well-received by many. Her Facebook post about it has garnered over 2,500 reactions, with netizens promising to give donations.
This gives Ana hope that the pantry would be able to reach many who are in need.
“I’m hopeful that it will keep on going especially now that so many people are hungry,” she said.
The Maginhawa Community Pantry is open from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. A hand sanitizer is provided for those who wish to take or donate goods. —JCB, GMA News