As community pantries are sprouting in many parts of the National Capital Region Plus (NCR, Bulacan, Laguna, Cavite, and Rizal), so are volunteers and donors who derive joy in giving, including a poor vegetable vendor who shared her produce with those in need.
The vegetable vendor, Nanay Agnes, sells assorted vegetables on her customized bike on the streets of Taytay, Rizal. Nanay Agnes did not think twice in donating several bundles of kangkong and sweet potato leaves (camote tops) when an organizer of a community pantry bought several vegetables from her.
Rhodnie Janolino, organizer of the Taytay Community Pantry, who is also a head pastor of CornerStone Community Church in Taytay, told the Manila Bulletin that his wife, Donna, bought vegetables worth P200 from Nanay Agnes when she saw the ambulant vendor on bike pass by their place at Lupang Arenda, in Barangay Sta. Ana, on the morning of April 20.
“Nagtaka si Nanay Agnes kung bakit ang dami naming binili na gulay mula sa tinda niya. Nung nalaman nya na ito ay ipamimigay namin sa mga nangangailangan through a community pantry, walang alinlangang nag-donate siya kaagad kahit na ininsist ng wife ko na bayaran na lang. Ang sabi niya, nais niya talagang mag-share kahit sa maliit na paraan na makakaya niya (Nanay Agnes was surprised why we bought many vegetables. When she learned that they will be shared through the community pantry, she did not hesitate in donating even if my wife insisted to buy them instead. She said she wanted to share even through her own little way),” Janolino said in his post on Facebook.
According to the article by Richard Gappi of the Rizal News Online, an online community paper, there are 35 community pantries in Taytay.
Janolino hopes that by sharing his story about Nanay Agnes’ kindness, it would help spread inspiration and hope for Filipinos to continue encouraging others to help.
Janolino, his wife, and fellow youth members of the church-based community based in Purok 3, Road 10, Lupang Arenda, in Barangay Sta. Ana, Taytay, with help from village officials, vow to continue their own pantry-sharing activity which also serves hot meals to less fortunate residents of Purok 3.
Aside from Taytay, similar community pantries have emerged in Antipolo City, Angono, and even in the upland communities in Barangay Sampaloc in Tanay, Rizal.