Help the Hungry: ‘Sharing Pantries’ spread across Thailand

A ‘sharing pantry’ on Huai Kaew Road in Chiang Mai. Photo: @Yokwaik27 / Twitter
A ‘sharing pantry’ on Huai Kaew Road in Chiang Mai. Photo: @Yokwaik27 / Twitter

Cans of mackerel, instant noodle packets, milk cartons and crowd-pleasing snacks. All are well-stocked in a pantry set up by a road for anyone in need or to stock.

Spreading across dozens of provinces in all parts of the country since Friday, Too Pan Sook or “Pantries of Sharing” have been installed to offer food for people who cannot afford food during this difficult time.

“Please take anything you need, and leave anything you can share,” the sign at one on Phuket reads.

A pantry in front of the Smile Together dentist clinic in Sisaket city. Photo: Pongpan Dokmai / Facebook
A pantry in front of the Smile Together dentist clinic in Sisaket city. Photo: Pongpan Dokmai / Facebook

Inspired by Australia’s Foodbank and the Little Free Pantry Movement in the United States and other similar programs, the idea of sharing was picked up by a group of volunteers who installed five pantries on Friday – four in Bangkok and one in Rayong.

Despite opinions that the idea would fail and people fight over the food, new pantries soon rolled out over the weekend to more than 40 provinces including Phuket, Chiang Mai, Khon Kaen, Udon Thani, Nakhon Ratchasima, Saraburi, Rot Et and Sisaket.

A pantry in front of Harmonic Music Phuket, a musical instrument shop in Phuket. Photo: Harmonic Music Phuket / Facebook
A pantry in front of Harmonic Music Phuket, a musical instrument shop in Phuket. Photo: Harmonic Music Phuket / Facebook

All of the locations have been put on a map by the community to record where the food pantries are across the nation. 

The pantries came weeks after public attempts to give food away were blocked by the authorities, including a few who even faced criminal charges for inciting crowds to gather during the COVID-19 outbreak.

https://twitter.com/YoKwAiK27/status/1259380239299305473?s=20

https://twitter.com/jorjeegorgee/status/1259419592251695105?s=20

https://twitter.com/yuakyen/status/1259504522642087936?s=20

 

 

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