Opposition Senator Leila M. de Lima lauded the organizers and volunteers of the community kitchen in different parts of the country for their joint efforts to ensure that immediate food relief and assistance will be provided to individuals affected by COVID-19 pandemic.
De Lima, a social justice and human rights champion, said the rise of community efforts as shown in initiatives such as community pantries, and now community kitchens, highlight the Filipino Bayanihan spirit.
“Despite the crisis, we continue to find inspiration from our countrymen who are working together to come to the aid of families who are struggling to put food on their tables,” she said.
“Saludo po tayo sa mga volunteers nating may tunay na malasakit sa kapwa at handang tumulong sa panahaon ng krisis. Lubos tayong nagpapasalamat sa mga katulad nila na nagbabahagi ng panahon at oras para tulungang makabangon ang ating mga kababayan, lalo na ang pinaka-nangangailangan,” she added.
The community kitchen allows volunteers, equipped with borrowed kitchen equipment and utensils, to cook food using ingredients from donations, as well as their own contributions. Once the food is cooked, the volunteers proceed with feeding the community.
As of this writing, it is reported that more than 100 community kitchens have been launched in different parts of the country.
Prior to this, community pantries, made of makeshift shelves or stalls on streets, were also organized in different parts of the country in an effort to extend aid and respond to the basic needs of the Filipinos that are struggling because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Community pantry is aimed at building a community that will give and take by their own will. It originated from the community pantry dubbed “Maginhawa Community Pantry” in Quezon City and pioneered by Patreng Non, which was later replicated in various neighborhoods in the country.
In times of crisis like this, the lady Senator from Bicol said she hopes more people will be inspired to work together to keep the Bayanihan spirit alive.
“The best thing we can do to fill the gaps in government response amid the pandemic is to act together and help each other survive the adverse effects of this crisis. Sa halip na pamumulitika at pagkakanya-kanya, bayanihan at malasakit sa isa’t isa ang kailangan,” she said. (30)