San Miguel Corporation (SMC) is stepping up its ongoing food assistance program for poor communities affected by stricter quarantine protocols, extending it to nearby provinces beyond Metro Manila such as Cavite and Laguna, with total donations now at P11 million.
SMC president and chief operating officer Ramon S. Ang said that soon as delivery of the first batch of food donations for Metro Manila cities started earlier this week, the company was already looking to expand to nearby provinces, including cities that are host to its facilities.
Areas that will receive donations of its San Miguel Foods’ ready-to-eat products include local government units in in Metro Manila, Cavite, and Laguna. The food packs consist of fully-prepared dishes that can be heated and served.
The donation is seen to benefit over 19,500 families in these areas.
“While these stricter quarantine restrictions are necessary to curb the rising number of COVID-19 cases and reduce the strain on our health care facilities and workers, for many people who earn a living on a daily basis, hunger is an issue. Putting food on the table is a constant worry, especially if you can’t work for days.” Said SMC president Ramon S. Ang.
“Through these food donations, we hope to be able to help local governments address the needs of vulnerable communities, and hopefully, help people to remain safe in their homes,” he added.
Initially, the company donated some 86,400 pieces of canned goods to benefit around 17,280 families in 16 Metro Manila cities and municipalities. It also donated 148,000 packs of nutribuns for soup kitchens, hospital front liners, and villages in granular lockdown in Pasig.
“We will continue to work with the local government units to assess the needs of vulnerable communities in their areas and look at what other assistance we can provide. This implementation of enhanced community quarantine may be hard for most of us, but it’s something I know we can all get through. The important thing is we stay at home, we keep safe so we can reduce the number of COVID-19 cases our medical frontliners have to take care of,” Ang said.
“The vaccines are coming. In the meantime, let’s all do our part so we can put our country, our economy, and lives, back on track,” he added.
Last year, SMC rolled out a COVID-19 response initiative worth over P13 billion that included P516 million worth of food donations. It also donated hospital equipment, PCR testing kits and testing machines, personal protective equipment, and provided various forms of assistance to medical frontliners, including free fuel, construction of quarantine facilities, and free toll at all its expressways, which continues to this day.
SMC has also continued its nutri-bun feeding program for communities in Bulacan, Manila, Quezon City, and Caloocan with the help of partner organizations and LGUs.
Through SMC’s Better World Tondo feeding center and food bank, SMC has also been providing grocery packs since last year for some 465 families living in Tondo’s poorest communities.