The Matatag Community Pantry is providing more than just food.

Unlike most community pantries that have mushroomed across the country, Matatag in Quezon City also aims to give light to advocacies like safe sex and violence against women.

In the photos provided by GMA reporter Tina Panganiban-Perez, a box of condoms is seen as among the freebies the pantry is offering.

“Everyone’s inside so some of us are trapped with their partners so we need to ensure also that they are protected,” said Nica Dumlao, one of the organizers, in Tina’s Facebook Live.

According to Nica, she’s already witnessed some getting their fair share of condoms including tricycle drivers and members of the LGBT who’ve also shared their loot with their friends.

Aligned with their goal to stop the spread of HIV, the community pantry organizers also put up a sign with contact information of people to reach out to for free testing.



They also provided details on how abusive incidences can be reported with a cardboard in front.

“Naisip namin na i-ensure rin na while kumukuha sila ng ayuda, alam din nila paano mag-report ng abuse lalo na ngayong pandemic,” Nica said.

(We thought of ensuring that while people are getting help, they also know how to report abuse especially now that we’re in a pandemic.)

“Nasa bahay lang so mahirap yung mga paraan para makahingi ng tulong [We’re all staying at home so it’s hard to get help],” she added.

The Matatag Community Pantry was organized by a group of friends who are “all advocates for women and LGBT rights.”

While almost everyone who visits the place go there to get help, some also take time to exchange what they get with either cash or food.

With the ongoing COVID-19 threat, the organizers have also been reminding visitors to practice safety protocols, like wearing a face mask and observing social distancing.

For interested parties, you may drop off donations at the pantry from 8am to 6pm everyday.

The Matatag community pantry is just one of the many community pantries set up nationwide to give help to those who need it in these trying times. — Franchesca Viernes/LA, GMA News


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