Pilmico team members led COVID-19 donation drive for families and frontliners
Through the Bread of Salt initiative and Labor of Love project, the donations helped 2,000 families in Metro Manila and Bulacan; and medical frontliners in Iligan.
Earlier in April, team members of Aboitiz food business unit Pilmico Foods Corporation launched a donation drive to support Bread of Salt, an initiative focused on feeding Metro Manila families who are in need amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Meanwhile, the Food Group’s employees in Iligan initiated Labor of Love, a fundraising activity that allocated a portion of their bonuses for the benefit of medical frontliners, street sweepers, and garbage collectors.
With the challenge that COVID-19 brought in a global level, the poor are among the most vulnerable. Food insecurity, limited access to markets, and the lack of a steady source of income are existing socio-economic problems that aggravate the threat to their well-being. Despite the Extended Community Quarantine (ECQ), people scurry in the streets to ask for food and relief assistance.
“As we collectively experience the difficulty and stress brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, Pilmico aims to assist its various stakeholders by bringing comfort through food. Families today have many challenges to deal with brought about by our need to stay at home, and we thought we would try to ease that as best as we could. Through the food distribution coming from the local bake shops, we are able to bring food production and supply as close as possible to consumers, meaning they don’t have to venture too far to get access to it. Meanwhile, this also allows for the creation of additional revenue streams for the small businesses in those communities,” said Tristan Aboitiz, Pilmico President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO).
Through a crowdfunding platform, KINDer by Aboitiz, Pilmico employees launched a donation drive that aims to support and provide additional resources to the Bread of Salt initiative. The Bread of Salt initiative is a tripartite partnership between donors, community organizations, and local bakeries, catering to the needs of urban poor families in Metro Manila and Bulacan.
The team member-led initiative raised almost P150,000.00 collected from both internal and external partners who donated. This amount acquired almost 180 bags of flour which were donated to the local bakeries for production of the free pandesal. This raised the number of partner bakeries from 9 to 30 bakeries. In total, the free bread produced served around 2,500 families, increasing the number of Bread of Salt beneficiaries to more than 4,000.
“Everyone in the Bread of Salt team is more than grateful for this assistance. When we started this initiative, admittedly, it was hard because of the logistic and funding challenges. But thanks to generous assistance from organizations like Pilmico, we were able to serve more than 3,000 families and counting,” said Rachel Morala, a representative from Bread of Salt.
By tapping local bakeries to produce pandesal, the Bread of Salt initiative is a two-pronged approach that secures both continuous income for local bakeries allowing them to stay afloat; and at the same time, it efficiently provides food assistance to those in need during the ECQ.
Meanwhile, Labor of Love raised more than PhP76,000, pooled from the donations made by Pilmico’s team members in Iligan. The project provided rice assistance to the frontliners of Gregorio Lluch Memorial hospital in Iligan, and reusable face masks for Iligan City’s street sweepers and garbage collectors. The donations provisioned for more than 80 sacks of 15kg rice and PhP14,000 worth of reusable face masks ordered from Pilmico’s cooperative partner sewers in Cebu.
Aside from assisting Bread of Salt and the Labor of Love initiative led by its team members, Pilmico conducts bread and medical supplies distribution in key areas all over the Philippines. The food donation aims to bring comfort through food, especially to the country’s critical sectors such as hospitals, military checkpoints, and families in need. Because Pilmico acquires its bread donations from partner bakeries, local bakers are also empowered with a continued source of income during the COVID-19 crisis. To date, Pilmico has distributed close to 570,000 bread, PHP4.1 million worth of food, and close to PhP1.5 million worth of PPEs, medical supplies, and sanitation kits. These were made possible by the consolidated efforts of Pilmico, Aboitiz Foundation, Inc. and the partnership with the Philippine Association of Flour Millers, Inc. (PAFMIL).
Interested to help the Bread of Salt initiative? You may contact Ms. Rachel Morala at firstname.lastname@example.org.