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Community pantry clients followed social distancing as they fell in queues. (Photo by Sharon Geda)

Kumuha ayon sa pangangailangan. Magbigay ayon sa kakayahan (Get only what you need. Give what you can)” read the tarpaulin hanging over the community pantry at the OJV Grounds, Pasig City, May 15.

The community pantry – a makeshift store consisting of tables laden with food items– was an initiative of kabarkadas in Sitel OJV-Technopoint and Pioneer, led by Operations and HR. The food items were given away to people from the nearby village of Barangay Ugong, village guards, workers from a nearby home furniture and supplies store, and Sitel’s security and maintenance staff.

While the pantry was only open for a day, it benefited a total of 196 people, who brought home vegetables, frozen chicken and pork, and care packs containing rice, canned goods, instant noodles, eggs and a variety of non-perishable food.

The food items were either donated by associates who brought them to the office a week before; or bought with money donated by Sitel executives.

 

The Kabarkada Community Pantry offered a lot of food items, from fresh vegetables to canned goods to instant noodles. (Photo by Sharon Geda)
On top of fresh produce, community pantry clients also received care packs containing rice, eggs, and non-perishable food. (Photo by Marinelle Ubal)

The project was inspired by the Maginhawa Community Pantry, which was started by Ana Patricia Non in April as a means to ease people’s burdens brought about by the pandemic.  It began as a bamboo cart on a sidewalk, from which passers-by could pick food items. Beside the cart was a sign that advised people to get only what they need and donate anything they could. The pantry has since then moved to a bigger location at the village hall and inspired others to open their own community pantries in neighborhoods, government offices, and companies.

 

The community pantry was the product of the efforts of several Sitel teams, including HR, HRISS, Facilities, Security, Maintenance, and more. (Photo by Sharon Geda)

 


 

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