, April 22, 2024

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Food and Fun at the Pantries

  •   3 min reads
Food and Fun 
at the Pantries
Photo Credit: Marvin Garcia

What started as a simple bamboo cart on Maginhawa Street in Quezon City has become a movement, offering free food and occasional laughter

The community pantries - now over 1,000 nationwide- have survived reckless red-tagging by some government officials and are not showing any signs of compassion fatigue.

The Maginhawa “mother pantry,” says its founder, Ana Patricia Non, is now a “decentralized” distribution hub serving 22 pantries. Another distribution hub has been set up nearby at Claret School sourcing vegetables directly from farmers’ groups, and assisting 300 pantries.

And the pantries have been providing our kababayans displaced by the pandemic with free vegetables, food items, meals, and other essentials (there’s a pantry in Antipolo giving out free soju), including tons of reasons to laugh.

Pantry organizers have been lightening the mood with “hugot” lines and other funny signs, proof that Filipinos can always find a reason to smile or laugh even in the most trying of situations.

Christine Norombaba, whose family organized a “community almusal pantry” in Caloocan, says it best:

“By nature masayahin na kaming mga tao, kasama lahat ng mga nagtayo nito, and gusto namin mag-spread ng good vibes sa umaga...”

"'Yung sa pagpila pa lang masaya na sila, hindi sila ma-iinip sa pagpila, tapos habang kumakain ay masaya sila. We just want to make people happy in the midst of this pandemic," she says.

Here are some of the funny signs at the pantries we saw on Facebook:

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