“Kumuha ayon sa pangangailangan, magbigay ayon sa kakayahan”.
This message is conveyed to the faithful by the parishes in the Archdiocese of Manila who are taking the initiative in holding a “community pantry” to further extend help and assistance to the less fortunate especially the poor people who are greatly affected by the surge of COVID-19 pandemic.
Most Rev. Broderick Pabillo, Apostolic Administrator of Manila has urged the parishes especially the Basic Ecclesial Communities (BEC) emulate this initiative of putting up a “community pantry” in their parishes.
“Dito sa Manila ini-encourage ko po ang mga pari, ang mga parokya o sa pamamagitan ng mga BECs na makiisa sa ganitong initiative; it’s a good way of spreading this bayanihan among us,” Bishop Pabillo told Radio Veritas.
The Most Holy Trinity Parish (MHTP) in Balic-Balic Sampaloc, Manila is among the parishes that has already setup a community pantry that is called “Pantry of Blessings”. It is located in front of the parish where people who live nearby may get canned goods, noodles, fruits and vegetables.
From the start of the pandemic until January 2021, the initiative was already present and was more popularly known as “food bank”. It aims to feed the hungry and provide food security for those in need. The food bank receives donations from their parishioners and benefactors. The parish is also in partnership with Caritas Manila for the continuous call for donations.
Kooky de Ayala, coordinator of MHTP Food Bank told the Archdiocese of Manila Office of Communications that the idea was developed from their dream of just having a Soup Kitchen from a simple conversation with volunteers until the idea was materialized and was supported by their parish priest, Fr. Enrico Martin Adoviso.
The “Pantry of Blessing” that the MHTP Food Bank organized will attend to the daily needs of the homeless within the vicinity of their parish.
“Mahirap lumaban sa krisis na kumakalam ang sikmura. Hindi man matugunan ang pinaka ugat ng kagutuman at kahirapan at least ang immediate na kailangan ay somehow natutugunan ayon sa kakayahan namin,” de Ayala said.
The MHTP Food Bank, de Ayala added is preparing food packs for 5 days a week with 350 packs per day and distributes them to homeless people around the area and various places outside the parish in Balic-Balic.
“Nakakarating din kami sa España to Luneta to Taft. Minsan sa bandang QC nakakarating din kami, sa may Araneta, E.Rod at iba pa. Sa ngayon pangarap namin na mas makarating pa sa ibang lugar,” de Ayala said.
“Hanggat may mga Homeless at Street Dwellers sa kalye at may mga taong hindi tumitigil tumulong, may MHTP Food Bank na magpapakain sa kanila. Huwag tayo magsasawang mag-share ng blessings dahil hindi din nagsasawa ang Diyos na bigyan tayo ng blessings sa bawat araw. At saka may sense of fulfillment sa mga puso namin. Nakaka-happy,” de Ayala added.
Nuestra Senora de Gracia Parish and Santisima Trinidad Parish have also opened their “community pantry” to the public.
Parokya ng Nuestra Senora de Soledad, San Vicente de Paul Parish and San Fernando de Dilao Parish will open their “community pantry” on April 20, 2021.
The National Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe will open its “community pantry” on Wednesday, April 21, 2021. (Jheng Prado/RCAM-AOC | Photo from MHTP Food Bank Facebook Page)