Community pantry pioneer wins AirAsia award

Ana Patricia Non received the 2022 AirAsia Stellar Award for her community pantry initiative, which became a national movement in 2021. Photo by Raoul Esperas

MANILA – Ana Patricia Non, known for her community food pantry initiative amid the COVID-19 pandemic, received the 2022 Stellar of the Year Award from airline AirAsia on Tuesday.

No, 28, is the first recipient of the award.

In her acceptance speech, the University of the Philippines Fine Arts graduate thanked AirAsia for recognizing her efforts in the community pantry initiative.

“It was only last year that I realized there were over 6,000 community pantries set up across the country. Read more from ko reading. I didn’t realize that I had inspired many good-hearted people,” Non said.

In 2021, Non started the Maginhawa Community Food Pantry in Quezon City as a way to provide food and other basics to residents amid the pandemic.

The initiative triggered a snowball effect, inspiring other communities to create their own food pantries.

For his part, AirAsia Chief Executive Ricky Isla said the award recognizes the contribution of employees, stakeholders, media and other personalities during the pandemic.

“We have all been affected by the pandemic and at AirAsia we appreciate everyone’s contribution in keeping us all on our feet and beating the pandemic. Now that we are on the road to recovery, let AirAsia recognize all of you who stand with us,” Isla said.

Besides No, other personalities were also recognized, including Jacque Manabat of ABS-CBN News.

—with report by Raoul Esperas

Norma P. Rex