MANILA — “The secret [to] happiness is helping others.”
This was the message of Sharmaine Nahine, co-owner of Cavite-based bakery South Whisk PH, which provided food packs and cupcakes to 70 homeless people in Cavite and Manila during Christmas.
For Nahine, it is important for everyone to keep in mind the homeless people, who she said would spend the holidays with limited or no food at all.
Their situation, she added, is doubly hard as the country and the world grapples with the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Since malapit na mag-Pasko, naisip ko paano ‘yong mga taong homeless na walang handa nitong Pasko at COVID crisis pa," she said in an interview with ABS-CBN News.
"Sobrang hirap lang po talaga sa kanila ngayon, kaya gusto ko sila tulungan somehow na mapangiti sila sa Pasko.”
(As Christmas was approaching, I thought about the homeless who do not have any food amid the pandemic. It is hard for them, and I want to see them smile.)
The 26-year-old said she got the funding for the initiative by selling “dream cakes” or popularized tin-can layered cakes which cost P400 each, of which P100 would be set aside for the food packs.
But this is not the first time she did this.
In August, during her birthday, she was also able to distribute face shields, food, and desserts to 26 poor families in Trece Martires.
“Sobrang sarap po sa pakiramdam talaga at sobrang nakakagalak sa puso, lalo na ‘yong makita ‘yong ngiti nila pagkuha nila ng pagkain. Sobrang saya po namin. Worth it lahat ng pagod and puyat namin ni Mama,” she said.
(It really felt so good and made me happy to see their smiles when they got their food. We were so happy. Our effort was worth it.)
Nahine added that she and her mom targeted selling up to 50 cakes, but they were actually able to sell more.
She was accompanied by her mom, and two of her friends during the food distribution. The food pack contained a fast-food fried chicken, a cupcake, and bottled water.
She plans to do the food pack distribution twice annually — one during her birthday, and another during Christmas.
“Sa mga gusto po magpatulong ng ganitong klaseng initiative…, pwede po kayo magpatulong sa'kin and willing po ako tumulong sa mga taong gusto tumulong sa mga mahihirap po at mga taong walang wala,” she said.
(To those who want to seek help for these types of initiative, you can contact me and I am willing to help those who want to provide assistance to the poor.)
Charities in the Philippines have been struggling to meet the ever-growing demand for food as millions of families go hungry across the country, a report from the Agence-France Presse pointed out.
Millions of Filipinos have lost their jobs as COVID-19 restrictions crippled the economy and shuttered businesses.
A survey by pollster Social Weather Stations in September showed that an estimated 7.6 million households experienced hunger due to the lack of food to eat amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The research firm added that the hunger trend has been rising since May this year, some two months since an enhanced community quarantine was imposed.