MANILA - The initiator of the Maginhawa community pantry on Sunday urged the public to start their own unguarded grocery stands for the needy.
Ana Patricia Non, 26, placed the unassuming bamboo cart filled with an initial stock of rice and canned goods near an intersection of Maginhawa Street in Teacher’s Village, Quezon City. It has since inspired other communities nationwide.
"Gusto ko po i-encourage ang mga tao na mag-start ng community pantry nila. I-empower po natin ang isa’t isa na magtulungan," she told Vice President Leni Robredo on the latter's weekly radio show.
(I want to encourage people to start their own community pantry. Let's empower everyone to help each other.)
"Nagpapasalamat po ako sa pagtugon, paggaya at pag-continue ng mga tao. Evident na kulang talaga ang nakukuha ng mga tao at kailangan natin magtulong-tulong."
(I want to thank everyone for responding, imitating and continuing this. It's evident that what we get is not enough, so we need to help each other.)
Robredo lauded Non for her small project which caused "huge reverberations."
"Nagpapagkita siya na hindi mo kailangan maging mayaman para makatulong. Hindi mo kailangan na malaki agad ang gagawin mo," she said.
(It shows you don't need to be rich in able to help. You don't need to do big things right away.)
Non said she was not worried if the pantry would run out of stock as it means it has served its purpose.
"Iba-iba po talaga ang struggle ng mga tao. Iba-iba rin ang environment na kinalakihan natin. I-delay po natin ang judgment. Instead na magalit tayo, ang magandang reaction is maging curious... Buksan po ang puso at isip, yun po ang pinakamahalaga," she said.
(Our struggles and the environment which we grew up in are different. Let's delay our judgment when someone gets more than they need. Instead of being angry, we should be curious... Let's open our heart and mind, that's what's most important.)
"Eventually, siguro masasanay din ang tao na ang community pantry nand'yan lang yan. 'Wag ka mag-alala, kuha ka lang ulit. Bago palang po siya sa Pilipinas, kaya sinusulit pa po siguro ng iba."
(Eventually, people will get used to the idea that the community pantry will be always there. It's new in the Philippines, that's why maybe people are taking advantage of it.)
She urged donors to give supplies to other community pantries as the Maginhawa cart was still teeming with supplies.