The companies and employees of the MVP Group have come together to support the countrywide movement of community pantries.
Aid in the form of rice, produce, and other dried goods were mobilized by the group to initially benefit over 8,000 individuals and their families through select pantries that have been set-up across Metro Manila.
As the MVP group aimed to reach more families and communities across the country, community leaders and organizers have helped build a support system to make the community pantry efforts more sustainable.
Speaking for one of the communities assisted by the MVP group, Punong Barangay Captain Joseph “Jojo” Mahusay from Barangay Pansol, Quezon City shared the story of their bayanihan efforts that assisted 10 community pantries organized by various religious groups, socio civic-groups and government owned and controlled corporations (GOCC).
According to Mahusay, around 5,000 families have already benefitted from these 10 community pantries near Barangay Pansol. He shared that the barangay assists the organizers of community pantries in terms of handling crowd control to ensure that health protocols are being followed.
“Most of the people lining up in community pantries are Barangay Pansol residents. We have also noticed that in some community pantries, residents from neighboring barangays such as Barangay Loyola Heights, Barangay Krus na Ligas and Barangay UP Campus also joined the line,” he said.
According to Mahusay, the barangay periodically does food pack distribution to underserved communities.
“At the onset of the pandemic last year, the barangay distributed relief packs to all of our constituents, followed by the City Government,” he said.
Over at Balara, Quezon City, employees of MVP group’s Maynilad mobilized resources to support the five-day pantry of the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS), the government agency in charge of water privatization in Metro Manila in the Philippines.
“Nakatulong din po [ang community pantry] kahit papaano (The community pantry has helped us somehow),” said Barangay Pansol resident Elena Medina.
Meanwhile, the Alagang Kapatid Foundation, together with PLDT, organized a community pantry on wheels at Tondo and Navotas, providing fresh vegetables, cleaning solutions, over-the-counter medicines, school supplies and toys to members of the community.
At the LRT-1 Monumento Station, the Light Rail Manila Corporation (LRMC) set-up an LRT-1 community pantry containing canned goods, vegetables, dry goods, and face shields.
Initial donations came from LRMC employees and friends, which eventually increased with the support of passengers and other partners.
Water, dried goods, and farm produce sourced from the #BuyLocal Farm-to-Pantry program of another MVP-led company, Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart), benefited about 1,000 individuals.
One Meralco Foundation also provided rice, assorted vegetables, and dried goods to select community pantries in Bulacan, Caloocan, Cavite, Manila, Muntinlupa, Navotas and Pasig City.
The PLDT-Smart Foundation provided eggs and dried goods to select pantries in Caloocan, Malabon, Manila, Navotas, Novaliches and Pasig.
With all these community pantries supported by the MVP group, families and communities find hope amid the darkest times.
Medina summed up this hopeful message perfectly when she said, “Laban lang po tayo nang laban. Basta, huwag mawalan ng pag-asa (Let’s keep fighting and moving forward. [The important thing] is that we never lose hope).”
All these efforts were made possible by Tulong Kapatid, the consortium of the foundations, companies and affiliates led by businessman Manuel V. Pangilinan.