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Philippines: Community Pantries

The economic hardships brought about by the pandemic gave birth to a new expression of the Filipino “bayanihan” spirit. Bayanihan refers to the Filipino mentality of helping one another in times of need without expecting any payment. A lady in Quezon City decided to help those who don’t have anything to eat by putting a bamboo cart on Maginhawa Street and filling it with some food items so that anyone who needs food can get some for free. Conversely, those who had something to share could leave their contribution on the cart. Then she put up a cardboard sign that says, “Maginhawa Community Pantry. Give as you’re able, get what you need.” The idea caught on and in a matter of days, community pantries have sprouted all over the country. People lined up to get a handful of vegetables or instant noodles for their next meal. Others gave what they could. Even people who have next to nothing would gather edible leaves and root crops and donate them to the community pantry.

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