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Nograles lauds community pantry initiative

The government on Monday welcomed the setting up of community pantries in many areas nationwide where less fortunate people can get what they need from donated goods and assorted grocery items.

"The government is doing everything it can to address the multifaceted concerns and issues on the ground, and we welcome any support na maibibigay ng kahit sinumang Pilipino," Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said on ANC  when asked if a similar initiative on the part of the government is in the works.

A community pantry initiative on Maginhawa Street in Quezon City has since gone viral and replicated in many areas, including areas outside of Metro Manila.

The initiative aims to help those in need amid the COVID-19 pandemic and the movement restrictions it brought about that resulted in job losses, if not reduced work hours and income.

"Kailangan nating magtulungan rito (we need to help each other). That is the bottomline," Nograles said.

"Kami po ay nagpapasalamat sa lahat nang gumagawa ng initiative [We thank everyone who is involved in this initiative]," he added.

Nograles said the government has existing aid mechanisms consisting of cash aid for low income families and provision of food packs in areas where there is a localized lockdown due to high transmission of COVID-19 cases.

"When we do localized lockdown, kailangan may tugon paano kakain 'yung mga kababayan nating naka-lockdown (there is a need to provide food for people residing in those areas)," he said.

"It is in that context that we provide the help needed," added Nograles, who heads the National Task Force on Zero Hunger.

Nograles then said that the task force he is heading is also working with the World Bank for a feeding program in 235 municipalities and cities where incidents of hunger and stunted children are most prevalent. —KBK, GMA News