Youth group in Cebu inspired to set up community pantries

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Community pantries popping up in the National Capital Region have inspired a Cebuano youth group to organize the same initiative to help those who are in need.

Michael Angelo Quijada, founder and executive director of One Guadalupe, said his organization has partnered with the Sangguniang Kabataan of Barangay Guadalupe here in setting up two community pantries.

“What inspires us to organize a community pantry is what actually transpired in Manila. Actually, it’s a good program to replicate. It can help the people. We are aware there’s financial difficulties of our people because of the pandemic,” Quijada said in a media interview.

Quijada, who is a student leader, said he used his connections to some 20 school and student organizations in coming up with food supplies for their community pantries.

Apart from the SK council in Guadalupe, he said the SK Federation in Cebu City has also supported the program.

He urged businessmen in Cebu to help in the initiative that helps the indigent amid the prevailing pandemic, which has caused many people to lose their jobs.

“Specially to our big businesses, it’s good if we cannot get their support to make this community pantry expand and be able to help the people. Through the pantry project, you can also help their workers,” Quijada said in Cebuano.

As of Tuesday, the two community pantries, one of which is located at the entrance of the National Shrine of the Our Lady of the Guadalupe and the other across Angel’s Pharmacy along V. Rama Avenue, have served over 400 people, he noted.

Photos of the pantry project was first posted by a travel consultant, Rachel Navaja Olmogues, on her Facebook page.

“The pandemic caused by the coronavirus disease of 2019 (Covid-19) has brought financial difficulties, especially to the poor and marginalized sectors in our barangay. This month of April, the first flagship program of One Guadalupe is to install community pantries in five strategic areas in the Barangay Guadalupe. These community pantries shall be accessible to those willing to donate unperishable goods like sardines, instant noodles, rice, and water bottles. Fruits and vegetables are also allowed. Anyone can place their donations on the same table where those who are in need can quickly grab enough amount of goods for him or his family,” Olmogues’ post read.

Quijada said members of the Visayan Youth Matters also distributed reading materials to those who lined up for the free food about the importance of following health and safety standards to prevent Covid-19 infection.

One Guadalupe, he said, is a youth-led initiative that aims to unify and mobilize the young residents to address common issues faced by the people in their neighborhood.

 

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