Group suddenly takes from Pasig’s community pantry, unflappable organizers

From that… to that: The Kapitolyo pantry when it was set up and after its last inventory. Photo courtesy of Carla Quiogue

MANILA – This was the scene some feared would happen with the rise of community pantries across the country.

Carla Quiogue, who along with her siblings set one up along East Capitol Drive in Barangay Kapitolyo, Pasig City, was surprised when she saw it for herself on their first day of duty. to eat.

“I check the table from time to time. And of course, nagulat po kasi noong nakita ko, ‘yong table na lang talaga ang natira (I was surprised to see that only the table was left), ”she told ABS-CBN News.

“I was disappointed.”

For 2 hours after the pantry opened on Monday afternoon, she said the canned goods, noodles, eggs, condiments and snacks on the table gradually dwindled as people took them. one or two at a time.

Yet she was also happy to see that others came to replenish the items.

At the third hour, Quiogue came out to see a group of 6 women with eco-friendly bags taking packets of coffee, instant noodles, crackers, as well as the rest of the canned goods.

One carried the 2 egg trays on the table.

Qiuogue said that she tried to prevent them from getting everything.

“We kindly asked them kung pwede kumuha na lang sila ng kung ano lang kailangan nila para mas marami [ang] makakuha, ”she said.

(We kindly asked them if they could just get what they needed for many others to enjoy.)

“Pero iba ata [ang] intindi nila and sabi nila magbibigay daw sila sa mga kapitbahay nila.

(But it seemed like they understood differently and said they would give the food to their neighbors.)

Quiogue told the group that if their neighbors needed food, they could visit the pantry themselves.

“Pero hindi po sila nagpapigil (But they didn’t give in),” she said.

“Tumalikod lang sila and nag-thank you (They just turned away and said ‘Thank you’.”


Quiogue’s pantry, along with the many others that have sprouted across the country, displays the written slogan: “Magbigay ayon sa kakayahan, kumuha ayon sa kailangan (Give what you can, take what you need). ”

The organizer of the first pantry in Quezon City, Ana Patricia Non, said community pantries are built on trusting people’s honesty in the midst of their own needs.

Quiogue said that while she was unsure whether the women would actually share food with neighbors at a nearby barangay, she hoped they were being honest.

“Sana talagang ‘yon’ yong kailangan nila (Hope that was what they really needed),” she wrote in an article about the incident.

After the post, Quiogue received messages from people claiming to be neighbors who received items the women took, but was told they may have been relatives.

“They apologized and they understood my reason,” she said.

“Gusto ko lang matutunan nila na may iba pang tao bukod sa kanila. ”

(I just want them to learn that there are other people besides them who are in need.)

Although pantries have also been created by the church, local government officials and law enforcement, the first on Maginhawa Street in Quezon City halted operations on Tuesday.

This was after some pantry initiators, including No, had received red flag messages.

Many other pantries, on the other hand, have created systems to avoid problems during distribution.

Despite what the women’s group has done, Quiogue is determined to keep the pantry open.

“Hindi naman lahat ng tao ay ganoon (not everyone is like that anyway),” she said.

In response to the incident, she received 10,000 P in donations to replenish her stock.

But they plan to move the stall on Brixton Street to another part of the community and merge it with the stock of other Kapitolyo residents.

“The reason we continue this is always because of our main focus, which is to ask people for help and extend help to those in need,” Quiogue said.

“‘Yon pa rin naman (it’s always that) – bayanihan.”


Community pantry, Kapitolyo, Pasig, Maginhawa community pantry, COVID-19, pandemic, Coronavirus

Norma P. Rex