A teacher’s classroom pantry in Aglipay, Quirino, is providing free school supplies and food to hungry students.
Rafael Gutierrez of Diodol Elementary School used his own money to start the initiative called the “Classhome Pantry” to respond to the needs of his pupils who go to school hungry due to their families’ lack of resources amid the still ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
Gutierrez’s pantry is stocked with free school supplies and food items such as snacks, canned goods, and other essentials for third grade students of the school.
The Filipino teacher’s heart-warming initiative earned praises and support from netizens after he posted a TikTok video on how the classroom pantry started.
“PARA SA BATA, PARA SA BAYAN. Sila ang salamin ng aking kahapon, at ang hinaharap ng lahat. Hindi ko batid kung saan magsisimula sapagkat alam kong walang dulo ang paglalakbay. Ang maliit na hakbang ay munting pag-usad tungo sa kung ano ang ating misyon at bokasyon,” Rafael Gutierrez said in his TikTok video posted on September 3, 2022.
[For the children, for the nation. They are mirrors to the past and the future. I’m not sure where to start because there is no end to this journey. Small steps like these help move forward our mission and vocation.]
The viral video paved the way for receiving more donations which allowed Gutierrez to distribute school supplies and hold a feeding program for students, the teacher told PTV News.
The ClassHome pantry is also now made available to all students of the school.
Filipino teachers going beyond the call of their profession include Noel Sales, an assistant professor at the University of Batangas, who raised funds for needy students’ school fees and expenses.
Quezon City resident Ana Patricia Non’s Maginhawa Community Pantry initiative which gave away food and other supplies to Filipinos in lockdown sparked a nationwide movement among Filipinos and has inspired groups and kind-hearted individuals to initiate similar projects such as the free plant to feed yourselves pantry, taho vendor giveaways, zero-waste pantries, pet food pantry, and online healing sessions.
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