By Ellaine Kryss Hubilla
The COVID19 pandemic has brought a lot of hardships to people all over the world. In the Philippines, when community lockdowns were implemented, millions of Filipinos lost their jobs. Many were stranded in their homes without even knowing where they would get food for their families. Due to this, various organizations also came out to extend a helping hand to those in need.
Social enterprise Gising Gising was founded last April 2020 by TJ Malvar with the goal of fighting food insecurity. Malvar shared that for every box of vegetables they sell, another box will be given to a beneficiary.
This can be done by sourcing vegetables directly from local farmers and eliminating the traditional supply chain that includes middlemen. Their vegetables come from farmers in Benguet and Quezon.
The beneficiaries are from Barangays Calawis in Antipolo Rizal and Payatas Quezon City, but Gising Gising is also trying their best to connect with other communities as well. Aside from sharing food, they are planning to continue their mission by sharing educational programs and providing employment opportunities.
Gising gising also operates at a minimal cost. They are trying to achieve a zero-waste operation by using recyclable materials.
Aside from the social enterprise, another project was launched by Malvar with the help of his community members. PusoKitchen, a community kitchen, is an initiative to help families of Antipolo Rizal during the COVID19 crisis.
At least 300 meals per day were distributed to the inhabitants of Barangay Calawis in Antipolo. They are prioritizing senior citizens, pregnant women, and undernourished children. Eight tons of vegetables from Benguet were also distributed to the families of the said community.
The PusoKitchen is based in “Loli’s Kitchen” located at the Mt. Purro Nature Reserve which is operated by the Malvar family. They are trying to achieve P3-million worth of donations to continue with PusoKitchen’s operations of feeding people and giving them vegetables that will help their immune systems fight against diseases, particularly ones caused by the virus.
In a time of global crisis, it’s always heartwarming to hear about Filipinos helping each other.
Those interested to be one of their vegetable suppliers for Gising Gising can email [email protected].
For more information, visit PusoKitchen official Facebook page [https://www.facebook.com/pusokitchen/].
Photos courtesy of Gising Gising Ph and PusoKitchen