BulSU, Bulakan food resto’s and barangay captain level up community pantry

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CITY OF MALOLOS—It’s choose your own packs of nutritious meal menus, for lunch, dinner and merienda, cooked meals of the day and  market-type community pantries offered by Bulacan State University (BulSU), Bulakan town food groups and a village chairman in Hagonoy. 

BulSU launched on Monday its three day April 26-28 Bahay Kubo community pantry in front of its Main Gate along the MacArthur highway in this capital city of the province. 

The pantry provided 170 households in nearby barangays of Catmon and Mojon with thirteen choices of “gulay menus,” says Elizabeth Chua, Director of Extension Services Office of BulSU. 

On Tuesday, nearly 200 families from Barangay Santisima Trinidad and Sumapang Matanda were benefited. On the last day on Wednesday, folks from Barangay Dakila and Sta. Isabel were treated of free menu choices.

People who came to the pantry had their selection of Bahay Kubo veggies–“Bet na Bet na Pinakbet,” “Crispy Pipino Cum Kamatis,” “Sweet Saba and Camote,” “High Grade Rice,” “Monggo na Labo (lagkitan),” “Upo na po Kayo,” “Sweet Watermelon and Singkamas,” “Chinese Kangkong,” “Misua Patola Surprise”. 

BulSU ‘Manong’ cleaning the community pantry Bahay Kubo area. Photo by Carmela Reyes-Estrope

It is what made BulSU Bahay Kubo pantry unique, Chua said referring to the vegetables in the Bahay Kubo including locally BulSU farm harvests sayote, repolyo and pechay, Chua added.

“All the vegetables in the bahay kubo are here except for kundol, bataw and patani, we have sigarilyas, sitaw, kalabasa, upo, patola, mani, etc”. 

Benjo Cruz, municipal tourism officer of Bulakan town who remain uninfected of COVID 19 while most in his family acquired the disease distributed cooked lunch, merienda and dinner to his constituents in Barangay Bambang on Saturday as his way of returning the good health he maintained.

Bulakan resto group’s caravan serving cooked meals. Photo from Benjo Cruz social media account.

Nineteen other food entrepreneurs joined and supported his cause as part of their ‘corporate social responsibility”. Cruz owns the Lugaw Republic stall chains.

Cruz told NEWS CORE, their food caravan was able to serve 3,000 residents from 500 households. 

They will hold a second food caravan on May 1, he said. 

Jhane Dela Druz, village chairman of Iba, Hagonoy and president of association of barangay captains (ABC) in the town also put up a community pantry on Saturday. The pantry was like a mini market, the biggest so far in Bulacan and had benefited all her constituents. 

The bountiful market-type community pantry of Kap. Jhane Dela Cruz in Iba, Hagonoy. Photo from her social media account

Reynaldo Cervantes, barangay secretary of Iba in an interview with NEWS CORE on Monday said that milk fish, aligasin, tilapia highlighted the eggs, vegetables and rice given to the people. 

Everything is from the own pocket of the village chair.  

Tents with the name and face of Dela Cruz as chair of Barangay Iba and Hagonoy ABC president were used in the pantry prompting few groups of people to notice that it was of a politician’s. 

Community pantries are deemed to be a volunteer citizenry action of giving and sharing to provide foods on the tables of the poor and the needy without the involvement of politicians. 

However, because Hagonoy folks especially her constituents in Iba and other Bulakenyos have high regard to her as a good leader and a public servant, it has not really become an issue. 

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