PHILIPPINES: Food pantry promotes community giving efforts
St. Dominic Savio Parish holds community pantry to provide food for those impacted by the pandemic
(MissionNewswire) St. Dominic Savio Parish, located in Mandaluyong City, Philippines, launched a community pantry to provide free food directly to community members suffering from food scarcity due to the pandemic. The food supplies are donated by members of the community who can afford to do so and left in the pantry for anyone in need. The idea behind it is that people can take as much as they need and donate whatever they can.
This effort is spearheaded by Salesian Father Eduardo Hila, the St. Dominic Savio Parish priest. The project is a collaborative effort of 17 organizations that are a part of the parish, local government and private individuals. Local organizations are helping by asking for donations, packing, manning the pantry and inventory, and educating people about the purpose and value of the initiative. Local officials are there to monitor health protocols and social distancing for those people who are picking up essential goods.
The pandemic has caused increased worries, fear, and hopelessness among parishioners, and the parish is responding by showing compassion, kindness, and humility.
A Salesian missionary said, “The St. Dominic Savio Parish pantry sends a strong message of ‘God’s love in action’ and ‘Loving my neighbor’ by people being able to share their blessings, and those who are in need are able to get what they need. Sustainability is a great challenge for the volunteers, but they believe in the kindness and generosity of individuals and families. They encourage the residents of the six barangays to share what they have.”
People have enjoyed how the community has come together in support of one another. One parishioner said, “We receive a lot of support from our parish priest and from other priests in the community. We thought our food supply would run out, but there was always something coming.”
Since 1950, Salesian Missions has been providing crucial help in the Philippines—working with at-risk youth, impoverished families and disaster victims. Humanitarian agencies warn of the dangers faced by the most disadvantaged children in the Philippines. According to UNICEF, there are at least 1.2 million children between the ages of 5-15 who are out of school and are being left behind. In addition, children born into the poorest 20 percent of the population are almost three times more likely to die during their first five years as those from the richest 20 percent.
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Salesian Missions – Philippines
UNICEF – Philippines