(APR. 19) – Today, April 19, a community pantry near the All UP Workers Union (AUPWU) headquarters near the shopping center that the AUPWU, the University Hotel Workers Union (UHWU), Samahan ng Manggagawa sa Quezon City (SMQC) and ALSA (Alyansa ng mga Samahan) Diliman set up got off to a hot start, closing shop within three hours of opening.
Set up in the waiting shed infront of the headquarters, the initiative was inspired by the Maginhawa Community Pantry according to AUPWU Diliman Chapter President Clodualdo “Buboy” Cabrera.
“Kinausap ako ng mga lider ng UHWU, SMQC at ALSA Diliman upang sabihin na magtulong tulong kami na mag set up ng isang community pantry. Mabilis ang pagkaubos ng aming nilagay dahil ang dami kaagad nagpunta at kumuha,” he said.
Pooling funding and contributions from all the aforementioned associations, some P5,000 worth of grocery items such as rice, canned goods and vegetables were placed in the pantry at 8:30 a.m. By 10:30 a.m. the needy had cleaned out the whole table, which is in line with the organizers’ purpose.
“Layunin nito na makasuporta ng kaunti sa pangangailangan ng mga manggagawang nawalan ng trabaho, o kahit may trabaho ay kapos na kapos pa din lalo na sa pagkain,” Cabrera said.
The pantry is scheduled to reopen on Wednesday, Apr. 21, to which several AUPWU members have already pledged both in-kind and cash support.
For Cabrera, the continued success of this initiative will depend on the support and sense of community among UPD constituents.
“Makita at madama ng may kakayahang magbigay/tumulong na sa panahon ng sobrang kahirapan sa buhay ay napakahalaga ng pagdadamayan upang lahat tayo ay mabuhay at hindi lubusang magutom. Lalo na kung ang ating gobyerno ay hindi lubusang nakakatugon sa pangangailangang pagkain ng taumbayan,” he said.
For those who wish to send their donations for the community pantry, you may send them to the All UP Workers Union Office at Laurel Ave. corner Roces Street, UP Diliman, Quezon City. For other information, you may visit their Facebook page.