Still feeling anxious and restless, like you could be doing more to combat that pesky virus despite being cooped up inside your house now that we’re on the extended run of the Luzon-wide lockdown?
Don’t despair. You can pitch in on the coronavirus relief efforts (from the safety of your own couch) by supporting these organizations who are filling in the gaps food-wise—whether that means providing halal-food options to Muslim healthcare workers to sending home-cooked meals to unemployed families in Metro Manila and Luzon’s provinces.
Take your pick from one or all (hey, if you have the bucks to spare) of the options below.
Launched by vegan kitchen Me & My Veg Mouth in partnership with groups Good Food Community, The Vegan Neighbors, Kadamay, and Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas [Farmers Movement of the Philippines], this food initiative hand-delivers whole food meals and vegetable packs to poor communities hardest hit by the pandemic around Metro Manila.
You can pledge cash donations to Lingap Maralita [Help for the Poor] for as little as PHP500 (US$9) to feed three families, to PHP1,000 (US$18) to feed six families. The groups have teamed up to cook and deliver nourishing meals made from fresh produce (vegetables, grains, fruits) sourced from local farmers. The feeding program which started in April 3 has since serviced villages in Camarin in North Caloocan and Payatas in Quezon City.
“We believe food must be available for all. The COVID-19 crisis has further upended the needs of urban poor communities, who are now being neglected and getting hungrier. Through Lingap Maralita, we are calling for action and solidarity, and advocate for their rights more than ever. Largely invisible, they are actually the ones who help our society run smoothly. Now they need us,” the groups behind Lingap Maralita said.
Pledges can be made here.
In largely Catholic Philippines, the needs of the minority Muslim health workers could easily be overlooked. But just because we’re in the middle of a pandemic doesn’t mean religious food restrictions should be thrown out the window.
Enter this initiative by food distributors Alzaky Foods, which distributes halal packed lunches to health workers in various hospitals in Metro Manila. Launched early March, the group has delivered hundreds of meals to hospitals like Ospital ng Manila in Malate.
“[H]ospitals receive ample food donations but most of time, they [Muslim healthworkers] couldn’t consume it because of our food restrictions …it is a difficult time and they don’t want to give the impression they’re demanding. It is heartbreaking to know some of them are trying to live off crackers and water to sustain themselves. So since then, Alzaky delivers to different hospitals,” the company said.
While the halal-meals are also shared to non-Muslim hospital staff, Alzaky asks netizens to drop them a line about Muslim health workers in need of their drop-offs.
Donations and tip-offs can be sent here.
Also providing meals to health workers is group Frontliners PH, who founded its initiative in March 16. You can donate as little as PHP85 (about US$2), which already covers one meal.
As of April 1, Frontliners PH has received over PHP350,000 (US$6,900) pledges which helped them deliver over 2,600 food packs to 35 hospitals and key areas in Metro Manila amid the Luzon-wide lockdown. To date, the group is servicing over 50 establishments including public and private hospitals, community health centers, mental health institutions, and dialysis centers.
Besides accepting cash donations, the initiative is also calling on independent restaurants and food businesses who want to send food donations.
Pledge in cash or kind here.
Zero Hunger PH
A youth-led movement focused on providing food bags for families in Luzon provinces, Zero Hunger PH prioritizes the homeless and families with no income and savings as its beneficiaries, coordinating with various villages and volunteers to reach their target of servicing some 10,000 families. The non-profit has partnered with University groups, fellow youth movements, and artists who peddle art, with proceeds going directly to the initiative.
Each food bag consists of 5 kilograms of rice, and 10 pieces each of canned goods and noodle packs, along with snacks and biscuits.
As of April 1, peso donations have amounted to over PHP240,000 (US$4,700) and foreign currency donations have amounted to over US$140. Any amount is welcome.
You can pledge donations here.
Food delivery service FoodTray2Go’s COVID-19 Food Drive asks frontliners to contact them for free meals during the Luzon-wide lockdown, and it asks donations from everybody else to support the cause which has since mid-March been delivering hundreds of meals to hospital staff and checkpoint personnel.
The San Juan City-based food delivery service has delivered meals from The Asian Medical Center in Muntinlupa to the Jose Fabella Memorial Hospital in Sta. Cruz, Manila
Donations are welcome in any amount and can be coursed here.
Rock Ed Philippines
Social welfare and volunteer group Rock Ed Philippines, which has been around since 2005, has provided over 50,000 meals to at least 41 hospitals in 17 cities in Metro Manila since the lockdown was imposed on March 17.
Besides asking for cash pledges and donations of fresh fruits and vegetables for health workers, Rock Ed’s relief program is also asking for donations of personal protective equipment, used bikes, and even disposable underwear (overlooked essential good) for hospital workers. Meals provided to frontliners are bought from and donated by local food businesses around the metro.
For donations in cash and kind, message them here.
One of the pioneer cloud kitchen companies in the country, (i.e. a takeaway food outlet with no dine-in facility) Cloud Eats launched its food drive on March 21, and has since raised PHP3.5 million (US$69,000) from over 700 donors which have helped them donate over 50,000 meals to at least 27 hospitals, and more than 10 local government units in Metro Manila.
The company regularly does two meal deliveries a day (lunch and dinner) to medical staff, local government officials and other frontliners to help them cope with the lockdown. Donations start at PHP648 (US$12) for 10 rice bowls with their accompanying meats, eggs and side veggies.
“Our hardworking kitchen teams are passionately preparing ready to eat meals that our front liners have already been raving about!” The company said. “CloudEats makes zero profit from this initiative,” it added.
You can help continue their efforts by donating here.
Read more about places to eat and drink in the metro here.