Community Pantries: Steadfast Charity Amidst a Pandemic
By Riley Bejarin
With the approach of another wave of COVID-19 cases, brought about by virus mutations, some households have taken to hosting community pantries, where they leave groceries and goods outside their homes for people to take what they need, and give what they don’t. This act of charity is able to help many who are lacking in supplies during the quarantine. The popularity of these community pantries soon grew, no longer limited to households: St. Paul Hospital, and our own school, SPCIP, joining in.
Just recently, SPCIP partnered with St. Paul Hospital Cavite in implementing the latter’s community pantry, Hapag ni San Pablo, to help cater to the needs of our less fortunate brothers and sisters.
Last April 26, the school reached out to the students and their families for donations, receiving positive feedback soon after. During the first week (April 26-30), the first batch of donations was received by the school and delivered to St. Paul Hospital. At the start of the second week, the school opened cash donations through fund transfers using either BPI or BDO for those who cannot give through physical donations.
From May 3-8, the number of donations surpassed those of the previous weeks and were gratefully received along with a total of P27,041.90 in cash. The families who have already donated expressed how they were very thankful that SPCIP has this opportunity because in this way, they are able to share their blessings and help in the current situation where people are running out of essential supplies, primarily food.
Last Tuesday (May 4), some of our dear sisters, faculty, and staff helped in the distribution of goods at St. Paul Hospital Cavite. In just one day, they were able to cater to the needs of 50 members of DASPAJODA and 150 individuals. There, they also witnessed how people of different ages line up to partake in the community pantry, even witnessing an elderly person being supported just to get her share. When asked why they still came, they simply stated that if they didn’t come by, they wouldn’t have anything to eat. SPCIP was able to greatly help in this event, which the recipients are very grateful for. Of course, this didn’t stop there.
As of now, numerous donations are still coming, in the form of both goods and cash. With this, the administration of St. Paul College, Island Park, Inc. has decided to conduct its own community pantry in the coming days.
With this, more people will be helped if we continue to share our blessings. Our school still has a lot to share, and is continuously supported by the students and their families, whose hearts spurred to charity will help make the event successful. Truly, the charity of Christ continues to impel us.

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