“Give what you can, take what you need”

A community pantry is a service that provides food directly to locals suffering from food insecurity. Some rely purely on local donations. The motto, “Kumuha batay sa pangangailangan. Magbigay batay sa kakayahan.” (“Take according to your need. Give according to what you can afford.”) has inspired many individuals and groups to contribute to those who are in need.

Feeding the hungry and binding people together are the intended purposes of community pantries. The idea began when a small-business owner teamed up with local vegetable vendors and farmers who offered their products to those in need. Within days, it grew into a multi-sector effort encompassing a variety of food and essential items — bread, eggs, fruit, rice, water, noodles — donated by rich and poor alike.

Community pantries allow people to donate to those in need, who in turn can choose what items, such as food and other essential goods, to take home.

The community pantries have been praised and encouraged by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP). According to” Bishop Broderick Pabillo, apostolic administrator of the Archdiocese of Manila “[It is] a very good way of spreading generosity and Bayanihan among us.” He encouraged parishes to put up their respective “community pantries” to help families who were displaced or lost their jobs because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Priests of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in Metro Manila have joined the effort by putting up a community pantry in their respective parishes. One of them is San Roque Parish in Bagongsilang, Diocese of Novaliches, with its Parish Priest Fr. Elpidio Z Luza Jr. SCJ. As we can read on their Facebook page “We keep giving because we keep receiving. This spirit of giving and receiving is worth celebrating in this trying time. May the Lord bring abundance to everyone who shares his / her blessings.”

For more information, please visit https://www.facebook.com/sanroqueparishbagongsilang/