Community pantries are “unprecedented” and “unequalled” in terms of helping the poor during the Covid-19 pandemic, said the national council of Catholic laity on Tuesday, April 27.

In a statement, the Sangguniang Laiko ng Pilipinas (Laiko) expressed support for community pantries.

“People with lesser opportunities can somehow hope to survive even for a day, through the overflowing and collective generosity of community residents with much or less to share. Undoubtedly God is inspiring their hearts to, ‘Give us this day our daily bread’,” the statement read.

On April 14, Ana Patricia Non, a Quezon City resident, organized the first community pantry on Maginhawa Street.

Other community pantries have also been organized in different parts of the country, giving out goods such as food, shoes, and medicine.

Laiko also lauded those who took the initiative to help since the beginning of the pandemic early last year.

“We also give our recognition to everyone who boldly initiated actions in selfless service right from the start of this pandemic: anonymous individuals, movie and TV personalities, churches, groups, movements and private corporations,” it added.

The statement called on other groups of lay people to extend their support to the initiatives.

“Likewise, let us be alert & vigilant that these community undertakings be protected from forces who plan to divide and thwart whatever gains there is to be reaped,” the statement said, in reference to the red-baiting of pantry organizers. Charlene Grace Lao