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From community pantry to ‘plant-ry,’ PLDT and Smart support food security

To sustain the countrywide community pantry effort, PLDT and its wireless unit Smart Communications have begun providing planting kits to communities in the National Capital Region, supporting thousands more families amid the pandemic.

Helping ensure communities are food secure and that the community pantry movement carries on, PLDT and Smart have distributed 2,000 #PlantSmart kits, encouraging individuals and communities to set up their own edible home or community gardens.

The planting kits are composed of three types of veggie seeds, loam soil with organic mix, and two types of fertilizers.

“Through our #PlantSmart initiative, we hope to provide community pantry organizers with a sustainable solution that creates families and communities that are food secure and healthy as we continue to cope during these difficult times,” said Smart Community Relations Head Stephanie Orlino.

Recipients needing guidance in setting up their own community plant-ries can view the 10-episode ‘Kalye Mabunga’ web series, that teaches the basics of setting up an edible garden, whether at home or in communal spaces.

One of the recipient-communities was the FARMERS 1 TIBAI Community Pantry in Barangay Tumana, Marikina, which received 100 planting kits for their community plant-ry organized by urban gardening advocates. Since April 25, Barangay Tumana has been supporting 150 indigent families through its community effort.

Other community pantries in Metro Manila that received the #PlantSmart kits include the GSIS Road Community Pantry in Pasig, which received a sack containing 20 planting kits. The beneficiaries are parents of Rosario Elementary School students.

"Thank you very much Smart Communications for your donations to our community. This is such a great help in providing us a long-term solution for our needs,” said Merdie Maningas, one of the beneficiaries from the GSIS Road Community Pantry.

With their ongoing “Gulayan sa Tahanan” program, the parent recipients will further expand the program to help other community pantries, including the San Nicolas Community Pantry in Pasig.

This community pantry partnered with Pasig Elementary School to use a portion of the school garden where they could plant vegetables to help sustain their pantry efforts.

Meanwhile, the FREE Community Pantry in Riverside Pasig, which received four sacks with 80 planting kits, will be linking up with three other nearby community pantries. Their target recipients will be homeowners or residents with an available space or lot that is big enough to plant seeds. This is to ensure that the planting kits will be fully utilized.

Smart’s #PlantSmart initiative is part of the broad PLDT commitment to help the country attain the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs), particularly UN SDG #2 Zero Hunger.

Kalye Mabunga link: bit.ly/KalyeMabungaTips

Topics: Smart Communications Inc , PLDT , Smart , Community Pantry
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