The whole idea for the community was to get what you need and donate what you can. Through this simple way, many appreciate this within their areas. For those people who are struggling for a meal or to buy the basic needs, they can go to a community pantry ang get what they need.
But, how does a community pantry work, and why this helps residents? The community pantries are built for the residents in the community wherein they can get what they need, especially for those who belong to the poor community for free. The idea will help them survive or to provide their children's food when they are still making money.
The five barangays in Puerto Princesa were declared to have them back into Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) on April 17 after the suggestion from the government officials, it had been approved by the Regional Inter-Agency Task Force (RIATF).
The first community pantry was opened in Barangay San Miguel, Puerto Princesa. It was organized by Russel Fernandez and Katrina Lucena. They said that they were inspired by the community pantry by Maginhawa tenet in Quezon City, Manila that has a community initiative “Magbigay ayon sa kakayahan, kumuha batay sa pangangailangan” that has been adapted.
The community pantry was named “Kusina Palaweno” also known as “Mesa ng Pag-asa” along Baltan Street. In an interview, Russel Fernandez shared how they started to apply the idea for their community. He said “Nagsimula siya sa isang ideya na actually post lang sa Facebook. Iyong share ng common intentions ng mga magkakaibigan, magkakakilala na dahil na rin sa nakita na rin nila ang sitwasyon ng ating mga kababayan, especially na limang barangay ‘yong naging under ECQ ngayon hanggang sa katapusan ng Abril. Dito, among our friends, nagplano na kami kung saan ba maganda maglagay, sino ba ‘yong mas nangangailangan na komunidad, ng tulong,”.
“Naniniwala ako na ang pangangailangan din naman ng tao ay hindi natatapos, hindi rin natin alam kung kailan makakabawi ang ekonomiya. ‘Yong ibang pamilya na ‘yong bread winner mismo nila ang nawalan ng trabaho, hanapbuhay, hindi natin alam kung kailan mababalik..Marami naman sa atin na patuloy ang biyayang natatanggap although mas limitado, mas kaunti siguro pero at least ay kaya pa rin nila magbahagi sa iba natin na kababayan. Wini-welcome natin ito at sana ay magtuloy-tuloy at dumami,” he added.
One of the community residents in Barangay San Miguel, a señior citizen Felicita Hernandez that she has been thankful for the initiative of the community panty most especially for his fellow señiors. According to her, “Malaking bagay na ito na may ganito rito lalo na sa pangangailangan namin,”.
As of now, there are three community pantries in Puerto Princesa, the Kusina Palaweño that has two areas which are located in Baltan, Brgy. San Miguel and Petron Station, Brgy. Tiniguiban (in front of Robinsons). The other one is the “Kalinga ni Maria Kindness Center” that was opened by the Apostolic Vicariate of Puerto Princesa (AVPP) that is situated beside the Immaculate Conception Cathedral Parish along Taft Street.
Kusina Palaweño Project