Metrobank Foundation, Inc. (MBFI) president Aniceto Sobrepeña (2nd row standing, 2ndfrom left) led the kick-off of the 4 week-support for community pantries with Tanging Yaman Foundation (TYF) founder Fr. Manoling Francisco SJ (2nd row standing, 3rdfrom left). Joining them are representatives from Metrobank, Metrobank Foundation, Inc.,Tanging Yaman Foundation, and delivery transportation partners on May 22, 2021, held at the Ateneo de Manila University in Quezon City.
The Metrobank Foundation, Inc. (MBFI), together with GT Foundation, Inc. (GTFI), kicked-off its support for 10 identified community pantries in Metro Manila last May 22, aimed at providing supplemental aid to continue their operation and benefit more underprivileged families hard at coping with the economic challenges brought about by the pandemic. Over a period of 4 weeks, deliveries of goods will be held every Saturday.
Deliveries of vegetables and rice are rolled out in partnership with Tanging Yaman Foundation. Goods are procured directly from farmers in Nueva Ecija, Tarlac City, and province of Quirino in Cagayan Valley as income support while displaced jeepney drivers of UP Katipunan Kmart Jeepney Operator and Drivers Association (UPKKJODA) are hired to transport the goods to the identified pantries.
Pantries supported were: St. Vincent de Paul Seminary community pantry, Kalusugan and Kristong Hari community pantry in Quezon City; Rolling community pantry, Tondo community pantry in City of Manila; Makati-Kalayaan community pantry in Makati City; Charis School community pantry in Marikina City; Jose Rizal University (JRU) community pantry, Hulo community pantry in Mandaluyong City; Bicutan community pantry and Molave community pantry in Taguig City. To date, more than 6,000 families have been reached out.
Photos above shows the actual distribution of goods in their respective community pantries.
“We continue to look for ways how we can help our fellow Filipinos who are in great need especially at this time. We were inspired by the initiatives of these community pantry organizers. I am thankful that we were able to begin this activity together with our partners and be able to provide supplemental aid to others,” said MBFI president Aniceto Sobrepeña.
Meanwhile, Tondo community pantry organizer Romeo Javier, Jr. said “Ang pag-organisa ng community pantry sa aming lugar ay hindi namin inaasahan na aabot ng buwan at dumating sa punto na hindi na namin alam kung pagpapatuloy pa namin ito sa kakulangan sa pondo. Kaya laking tuwa po namin nang mabalitaan na tutulong sa operasyon ang Metrobank [Foundation]. Marami pa tayong matutulungang kapos at hindi alam kung saan kukuha ng pangangailangan.”
“Maraming natutulungan ang community pantry lalo na sa aming mahihirap na wala talaga lalo na nung nawalan ng trabaho. Yun lang po ang nakakatulong sa amin sa pagtyaga tyaga ng pila pila, nakakatulong yung bigas na nakukuha naming dito sa pang araw-araw” said Connie Boringot, a beneficiary from Charis School community pantry.
Said donation is part of the consolidated almost PhP346.3 million contribution of Metrobank and GT Capital Holdings to fund and support efforts to combat the pandemic and help those in need under its “Helping Hands” program.
To date, the financial assistance covered the purchase of personal protective equipment for healthcare and security frontliners; donation of RT-PRC testing kits to select government hospitals; facilitation of antibody rapid testing and pooled testing to local government units; construction of 10 molecular laboratories; support for “Project Ugnayan” led by the Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation; distribution of meals and food packs to underprivileged families; creation of an amelioration program for visual artists; in-kind donations of learning materials and equipment to geographically-isolated schools; provision of laptops and tablets for students; installment of 10 Water, Sanitation and Hygiene facilities; and donation of 30 units of Toyota Vios to Department of Health, among others.