From one community pantry in Quezon City to hundreds scattered around the Philippines, Filipino ingenuity comes to the fore--and Filipino-Australians can do their bit to help.
The community pantry movement has reached Australian shores, with some members of FilPress Syd, a group of Filipino-Australian journalists and media professionals urging community associations to lend a hand.
Image source: Patricia Non, the first community pantry in Maginhawa, Quezon City
Last year, there was a flurry of fundraising and impromptu events to support international students and overseas Filipinos stranded in Australia—but there hasn’t been any other initiatives since outside those projects.
Michelle Baltazar, editor of The Australian Filipina and FilPress Syd member, has suggested that individuals and community organisations may be able to help by donating to community pantries back in the Philippines, with assistance from volunteers in the area.
Adhika, Inc, a community organisation for media professionals, started the ball rolling with plans to host a community pantry in Pasay City, with help from locals based in the area.
Community organisations can ‘host a pantry’ or ‘adopt a pantry’ by pooling donated funds in Australia and sending it to a trusted contact back in the Philippines to ensure that the funds aren’t misappropriated.
Photo source: Lowy Institute
“This is a small-scale project that will rely on the honesty and generosity of both the volunteers who are setting up the pantry and the donors here in Australia,” said Baltazar.
HOW TO HELP:
1) Community organisations can raise the funds and contact any of their interested friends or relatives to purchase rice and canned goods to be delivered to their chosen pantry.
2) You can also check the 'pantry mapping' program by 'Saan May Community Pantry' mapping app. You can check the link here.
3) Or if you don't have an affiliated organisation or want to donate as an individual, you can direct your donations from as little as $2 to Adhika Group via:
Bank: St George
Name: Adhika Society Account
BSB - 112 879
Account Number - 457462651
Write your name & PhilPantry in the description for funds reconciliation and acknowledgment of receipt.
You can also contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
4) Donations will be accepted until next Sunday, May 30 and will be distributed by Friday, June 18. Those who leave their email details on email@example.com will be given an update.
5) For community organisations that join this adopt-a-pantry program, you can provide your details to firstname.lastname@example.org so we can provide the media coverage of your assistance.
Details of pantries that have received assistance will also be published in various community publications.
“We urge community associations to find a way to help our kababayans during this difficult time where many people have lost their source of income. Adopt-a-pantry is one solution but any other worthwhile fundraising projects should be encouraged among their members,” said Josie Musa, founding president of Adhika, Inc.