Bishop Broderick Pabillo, the apostolic administrator for the Archdiocese of Manila, has urged the faithful to start their own community pantries in their local parishes. This is in light of the ongoing efforts to provide support to struggling Filipinos due to the pandemic.
According to the Manila Bishop, the initiative is a “very good way” of exhibiting goodness and building up the bayanihan spirit among Filipinos. (Read: 3 Food Items You Can Donate to Your Local Community Pantry)
“We commend the initiative of the community pantry because it shows cooperation,” Pabillo said over Radio Veritas on Monday. “I encourage the priests, parishes, and the BECs (Basic Ecclesial Communities) to join this initiative.”
The community pantry is inspired by the viral Maginhawa Community Pantry in Quezon City — an initiative wherein locals can get free and unrestricted grocery supplies from an “open store,” based on their needs.
As of writing, the initiative has already created a ripple effect across different cities and provinces in the Philippines, as various individuals start their own community pantry in their respective localities.
Bishop David’s statement comes at par with that of Caritas Philippines, the social action arm of the Catholic Church.
In an interview, Bishop Jose Colin Bagaforo, national director, said that the community pantry initiative is proof that kindness and compassion will always overcome others’ greed and selfishness.
“[It] is one of the most Christian responses at a time when self-preservation and addiction to power are very eminent,” he said. (Read: Pope During Mass With Prisoners, Refugees: ‘Mercy is Christianity’)
Bagaforo also added that these localized initiatives are manifestations of what the people can do— if only they work hand-in-hand towards addressing social issues.
“As a people, we are powerful. Hence, we continue to call on all individuals, families, and communities to establish these kindness stations,” he said.
“The important thing is, as a Christian nation, we collectively look and reach out for our neighbors.”