LOOK: This pantry accepts coins for donation, giveaway fares, and cups of tea

Published May 3, 2021, 12:10 PM

by Noel Pabalate

This organization proves Philippine coins still have value and uses them for their mobile pantry.

In just a span of two weeks, the community pantry grew in more than a thousand locations across the country. The movement even reached beyond our borders with countries like Timor-Leste and Phuket, Thailand building their own. More than that, it came in different versions like pantry bike, mobile pantry, community paw-ntry, and community pan-tree. And now, there’s a Coin-mmuni-tea Pantry.

The mash-up term was coined by Karl Bartolata, founder of Juan SMILE organization that manages a mobile pantry every weekend in different parts of Metro Manila. During their weekend charity, which he coordinates with Philippine National Police (PNP) and local government units (LGU) for a smooth flowing operation, he noticed that there are many who want to contribute.

JuanSMILE organization accepts coins for donation.

However, there are some who are still hesitant because they only have loose coins to give. Karl recognized their willingness to be of help and so he thought of accepting coin donations. He believes that those little things can generate big funds for the Bayanihan.

A training development officer in the Department of Natural Resources and Environment (DENR) central office in Visayas Ave. Quezon City, Karl started the coin drive in his workplace last week. “It got a positive response, and then I realized that every centavo matters,” Karl told Manila Bulletin Lifestyle.

From there, he planned to put up a coin collection table outside DENR’s gate. But before it materialized, he saw a group in DENR called Galaw ng Kalikasan serving free tanglad tea in their office. Another idea bulb popped out: Why not serve healthy tea along the coin drive? And so the idea gave birth to the coin-mmuni-tea pantry.

A passerby takes a cup of tea from the coin-mmuni-tea pantry.

On its table set up outside the DENR central office, people can enjoy a free cup of healthy cold or hot tea in different flavors like tanglad, lagundi, guyabano, turmeric, and others. Moreover, one could have a simple yet fulfilling joy through dropping some coins, no matter how small it is. Also, commuters can take coins to use for their jeepney fare.

COIN-MMUNI-TEA on a weekend!😍📍Visayas Avenue, Quezon CityCOIN para sa pamasahe at TEA para healthy!😁

Posted by JuanSMILE on Sunday, May 2, 2021

Perhaps, most of us may already find our centavos have little worth, but not for Juan SMILE that considers them so precious, which can even support a mobile pantry delivering relief to the poorest of the poor.