Last March 1, the University Student Government (USG) established a 24/6 Food Pantry at the Gokongwei Hall Learning Facility. The four-day initiative ran every day from 10 pm to 5 am until March 4, offering free food and drinks to students pulling off all-nighters in the study area during midterms week.
In an interview with The LaSallian, USG President Alex Brotonel evaluated the pantry with a self-given 3.5 in the DLSU grading system, noting that it was a successful initiative with room for improvements.
“Now, we’re considering on putting it on two ends [of the study hall] para hindi maraming traffic in one area. And medyo na-underestimate namin kung gaano karaming estudyante ang magsu-support ng pantry natin,” Brotonel explained.
(Now, we’re considering on putting it on two ends so there will not be much traffic in one area. And we kind of underestimated the number of students who would support the pantry.)
Catherine Felix (I, BS-CPE) said the pantry has benefited her, as well as other students, as she went through midterms in the learning facility. “The pantry gives essential needs for studying overnight [such as] coffee and biscuits. The project really did their work in [providing] what the students here in Goks (Gokongwei Hall) need,” Felix expressed.
Since the stock of food and drinks was bought at retail price, Brotonel disclosed that the USG shelled out no less than P25,000 from its funds. Some of the goods in the pantry were also sourced from monetary and in-kind donations from various individuals and students themselves, Brotonel added.
De La Salle Brother Richie Yap FSC, who also donated to the pantry, likened the project to the story of Jesus feeding 5000 people after a boy offered his five loaves of bread and two fish to him. He commented that the initiative is “brilliant” and “responsive to the needs of the students.”
Brotonel thanked the University administration for its support toward the food pantry initiative. The USG President also thanked the DLSU Parents of University Students Organization (DLSU-PUSO) for continuously echoing the student body’s needs.
Another pantry is set to be prepared by the USG on finals week of the current academic term, for which the USG president revealed they are currently seeking sponsorships from food manufacturers to lower costs.
The USG will also be launching initiatives for Women’s Month this March including the provision of free sanitary napkins around vending machines in the Manila campus. Brotonel also mentioned that her election platform of free HIV screening is currently being lobbied to be implemented by the Health Services Office by June this year.