Community Food Pantry Initiator Recognized by the U.S. Embassy

Photo from the Twitter account of Heather Variava, Acting Chargé d’Affaires of the United States Embassy in the Philippines.

MANILA – Community food pantry initiator Ana Patricia Non was recognized by the United States Embassy in the Philippines on Wednesday for her bayanihan efforts amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Posing with No, Acting Chargé d’Affaires Heather Variava emphasized that women can help change the world through leadership.

“Empowered and courageous women can change the world for the better. I presented the Ambassador’s Woman of Courage Award to Ana Patricia Non for her community food pantry initiative that inspired Filipinos to combine their resources and helping each other during the COVID-19 pandemic,” she tweeted.

Non thanked the embassy for recognizing their efforts.

“I was greeting the United States Embassy in the Philippines in the pantry of the community and acknowledging that there was no problem. Malaque it in some organizers. Yakap!” Not said in a Facebook post.

Fed up with the lack of pandemic response during last year’s second lockdown, Non built a stall near a tricycle station with the sign “kumuha batay sa pangangailangan, magbigay ayon sa kakayanan” (get what you don’t you need, give what you can) with its extra goods in Quezon City.

A full stomach to survive the day may be its first goal, but the community pantry on Maginhawa Street in Quezon City has become a battle cry for basic social services.

Around 6,700 community pantries have at one time sprouted around the Philippines, each filled with stories of hope and bayanihan spirit.

When asked if they plan to institutionalize the community food pantry, Non said earlier that it is best for the initiative to remain rooted in communities.

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Norma P. Rex