‘Happy lunch’: Homeless people in Manila get free lunch amid COVID-19 crisis

Pia Regalado, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 31 2020 02:59 PM

A homeless man gives a thumbs up after he was given free lunch in Santa Cruz, Manila on March 29, 2020. Photo from Jam Marfil

There is such a thing as a free lunch.

A group of friends found a way to feed the homeless in Manila City amid the month-long lockdown in Luzon as the country battles the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

In a series of Facebook posts, Jam Marfil shared that the feeding project “Happy Lunch” started as a response to heartbreaking news about people in need who are struggling to make ends meet as they lost their jobs due to the lockdown.

“The other day, a tricycle driver knocked on our door. He said that he barely had anything to feed his family of ten due to the NCR lockdown. ‘Walang pasahero. walang ayuda mula sa gobyerno. Kaya baka kahit ano lang pangkain mabigyan mo kami,’” Marfil said, noting that there were more knocks on their door as days passed.


With the help of donors, Marfil and his team brought packed lunches good for 100 people and made rounds in Manila City on Saturday while observing physical distancing and wearing gloves, masks and raincoats for protection.

“Happy Lunch” project’s Jam Marfil wearing a raincoat, masks, and gloves to protect himself against COVID-19. Photo from Jam Marfil

Tondo street vendors, whose livelihoods were hit by the lockdown, were tapped to supply the food for P50 per meal. Because of limited supply, the group will distribute 150 packed lunches per day, until the end of the lockdown, due on April 14.


“This COVID nightmare is just too much for everyone, especially the masses who earn on a day-to-day basis,” he added.