San Miguel Corporation (SMC) is mounting another food donation drive to benefit poor communities throughout Metro Manila, as government imposes stricter measures following record number of COVID-19 cases.
SMC president and chief operating officer Ramon S. Ang said that the food donation drive has already begun, with hundreds of boxes of canned goods already sent out by the company, to boost local government units’ efforts to provide food for vulnerable communities.
“From our experience last year, we know that providing food is a big help to many Filipinos, especially those who live on daily paid work. If they’re unable to work, they won’t be able to put food on their tables. This is our way of helping at least narrow that gap and help keep people from hunger,” Ang said.
Initially, the company is donating 86,400 pieces of canned goods that can benefit 17,280 families in 16 Metro Manila LGUs, including Manila, Pasay, Caloocan, Las Pinas, Makati, Malabon, Mandaluyong, Marikina, Muntinlupa, Navotas, Paranaue, Pateros, Quezon City, San Juan, Taguig, and Valenzuela. SMC also committed to deliver 148,200 packs of nutribun bread to Pasig City for soup kitchens, hospital front liners, and villages on granular lockdowns.
“This is just our initial effort. We will continue to monitor the situation and coordinate with the LGUs. If there is a greater need from the communities, we will adjust and give more. We all have to do our part to ease the strain on our hospitals and medical front liners at this time. We have to help stop the spread and stay at home. To do this, we also have to ensure our least fortunate countrymen will not go hungry,” Ang said.
Last year, when the pandemic first struck, SMC mounted the largest food donation drive in its history, with over P516 million worth of food donated.
Since then, its weekly nutribun donation drive has continued in critical areas such as Malolos, Bulacan; Tondo, Manila; Payatas, Quezon City,and Caloocan. To date, SMC has distributed over a hundred thousand nutribuns to these communities with the help of partner organizations and LGUs.
Meanwhile, SMC’s Better World Tondo feeding center and food bank continues to provide support for families in Tondo’s poorest communities. It has been providing grocery packs since last year for some 465 families. “All aspects of our lives have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Just as we have at the beginning, we remain committed to helping out in any way we can, be it through immediate assistance and relief, to helping our country with long-term recovery efforts,” Ang added.
SMC has been at the forefront of private sector pandemic response. Its response strategy has covered everything from donations of food, rubbing ethyl alcohol, hospital equipment and test machines; assistance for medical frontliners through free toll, insurance, fuel donations, and the construction of quarantine facilities at military camps.
It built its own COVID-19 testing facility, Better World EDSA, to ensure the safety of its workforce and make RT-PCR testing more accessible to the public.
It also partnered with the Department of Agriculture (DA) to enable farmers to reach a wider market for their fresh produce through its network of Petron stations.
Recently, the company committed to spend P1 billion to shoulder the vaccination against COVID-19 of all its employees and extended workforce.
SMC has also committed to pursue its massive infrastructure projects to help the country recover from the economic impact of COVID-19 and generate much-needed jobs.