The Maginhawa Community Pantry in Quezon City resumed operations on Wednesday, a day after taking a “pause” due to volunteers’ safety concerns amid red-tagging allegations.
Ana Patricia Non, the proponent of the pantry that inspired more than 300 community pantries in the country, opened it again after securing a team that would ensure their safety.
“Gusto po namin sana na mag-focus tayo sa community pantry. Mas marami naman pong sumusuporta kesa nambabatikos and ayaw ko po ibuhos yung energy ko sa mga taong hindi nakakaintindi (We want people to focus on the community pantry. There are more people who are supportive than those who criticize. And I don’t want to pour all my energy to those people who cannot understand),” Non told reporters as she reopened the pantry.
Videos on social media showed individuals lining up for the pantry as early as 5 a.m. or right after the end of curfew hours as donations, even those from the marginalized sectors, continued to pour in.
In the early morning of Tuesday, Non announced that the pantry would take a “pause” for the “safety” of the volunteers. This came after the Quezon City Police District and the national government’s task force against communism red-tagged the community pantries.
Currently, there are already at least 70 community pantries in Quezon City, according to data provided to Mayor Joy Belmonte.
Belmonte on Wednesday assured Non of the local government’s support to her initiative and told the latter that the city would take care of her.
“I just looked at the data. And because of your single act of love and kindness, you have inspired more than 300 community pantries all over the country. In Quezon City alone, there are 70 community pantries,” Belmonte told Non in an ANC interview.
“When I think about you…I always tell the people of the Quezon City Hall, support nyo si Patricia, maganda yung ginagawa kasi naiiisip ko si Greta Thunderg or si Malala Yousafzai, ‘yung mga nanalong kabataan ng Nobel Peace Prize (because she’s doing a good job. And I remember Greta Thunberg and Malala Yousafzai, those who won the Nobel Peace Prize), just because they have pure hearts and they’re fighting for something they believe in.
Belmonte also said that “change begins because of people like Non.”