STUDENTS IN PULILAN ORGANIZE A COMMUNITY PANTRY
The spirit of Bayanihan continues to shine through the youth of the Pulilan community in Bulacan. Student volunteers from different universities banded together to organize the Pulilan Community Pantry, with the help of the respective barangays. The project is spearheaded by Kabataang Pulileño, a non-profit organization that focuses on youth empowerment.
The pantry started at Barangay Poblacion last April 20, 2021. Rica Azutillo, one of the founders of the Pulilan Community Pantry, said that she was inspired by the Maginhawa community pantry and decided to set up one in her community. Then, her former classmates from Academia de Pulilan volunteered and suggested opening one in other barangays to maximize the number of people that they can help.
“It was basically just an overnight thought, I saw the news and said why not imply that here in our local barangays? Then after a day, we were already able to set our station in Barangay Poblacion, then the next day was in Barangay Cut-cot until we now serve 3 barangays,” she shares. “In terms of maintaining the supplies, we decided to allot 800PHP each day for each barangay, that way we’re able to sustain and provide their needs for a single day. This is also why we don’t go all out on our daily ‘latag’.”
She also shared that the hardest part is time management. As the pantry is run mostly by students, they have different schedules for their synchronous classes. Despite those challenges, the students continue to serve. Aside from student volunteers, the pantries are also being watched by barangay staff, as well as co-funded by the respective barangays.
The community pantry is still ongoing and is open for in-kind and cash donations. For in-kind donations, drop-off points are at Poblacion court, Barangay Cut-cot, and Barangay Tibag. For cash donations, you may send through GCASH with the number 09756440392 belonging to Aileen Villasenor. To volunteer, send a message to Rica Azutillo on Facebook.