by: Almira Aratan Batulanon, MED-LT

Inspired by the community pantries popping around Metro Manila, the Brother Polycarp  Community Development Foundation established its first community pantry last April 21.

The makeshift community pantry sets an effort to provide free items such as rice, vegetables, canned goods, and other food items that can help feed a hungry stomach.

Now on its fifth week, this humble project has survived through donations from school administrators, faculty, staff, students, parents, and other private organizations and has already reached more or less 2,000 families in Digos City.

According to Mrs. Maribel C. Guerra, Director of Brother Polycarp  Community Development Foundation, this modern-day Bayanihan initiative was in response to hunger and the economic burden of job losses amid the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“We know that the pandemic has brought us too much anxiety and stress, especially on finances. There are a lot of people who have difficulties in feeding their empty stomachs. This initiative could help them feed their families for a day while looking for a more stable source of food,” Mrs. Guerra said in an interview.

Br. Ellakim P. Sosmeña, SC commended those behind the initiatives stressing that the community pantry project was put up as a collective effort to alleviate hunger especially during these difficult times of the pandemic.

“The community pantry initiated by CJC- Brother Polycarp Community Development Foundation is an articulation of its vision and mission of responding to the different faces of poverty through the provision of food to economically disadvantaged families especially those who are affected by the pandemic,” Br. Sosmeña said.

Furthermore, the School President added that the establishment of this food stall brings out unity, kindness, and compassion allowing everyone to deepen their appreciation for the act of sharing.

“The community pantry deepens our understanding of life living in a community where there is sharing and giving of goods especially to those who are in need,” Br. Sosmeña said.