Fresh food picks!
From the start of the lockdown, our hearts have gone out to a lot of people in need. Initial concerns and support went out to our local farmers. Group chats have been filled with people sharing messages on overstock of fruits and vegetables, and how we can help prevent spoilage and provide income for these small and humble entrepreneurs by buying from them.
We’ve passed the four-month mark and it seems that Covid-19 isn’t going away anytime soon. With most farmers still technologically challenged, they have to rely on good old-fashioned means of communication which sometimes entail physical meetings or word-of-mouth from their clients.
Local and fresh
To hasten the process, SM Supermalls has collaborated with the Department of Agriculture (DA) and RestoPH in providing fresh produce straight from the farms to our tables. Farmer’s Produce is a three-day market caravan that will be going around SM Supermalls. Shoppers can get fresh picks of vegetables, fruits, dairy products, and other local products—all sold at lower costs—in one venue. Its launch event at the SM Aura was well-attended earlier this month, with Noel Reyes, William Dar, and Kristine Evangelista from the Department of Agriculture, Ruth Castelo from the Department of Trade and Industry, Margie Moran, Eric Teng from RestoPH, and Steven Tan from SM Supermalls gracing the inauguration. The next schedule is set at The Podium this weekend, July 24 to 26. Other dates include SM City North EDSA from July 31 to Aug. 2, SM Mall of Asia from Aug. 7 to 9 and Aug. 14 to 16, SM Megamall from August 21 to 23 and August 28 to 30, and SM Southmall from Sept. 4 to 6 and Sept. 11 to 13.
Aside from the farmers, another group that has been hit badly is the food industry. Restaurants, small or big, have been suffering due to limited operations and financial incapacities to continue. Under RestoPH, which takes care of most micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs), restaurants have also joined the caravan in selling food items that have been prepared using local farm produce.
Key individuals of this collaboration have given their trust in working with SM Supermalls, which “is one of the safest spaces to hold a socially responsible program,” says RestoPH president Eric Teng, who pointed out that this group of malls follow government policies such as checking of body temperature, wearing masks, regular sanitizing and disinfecting, providing safety protocol officers for safe distancing, and many more efforts in making sure everyone is safe and healthy.
“Our farmers and MSMEs need all the help and support they can get to continue to provide for their families and the community. Through this project, we are bringing farmers, business owners, restaurateurs, and consumers together to make a positive and lasting impact, not only on the lives and livelihoods of the farmers, but the country’s economy,” ends SM Supermalls president Steven Tan.