The coronavirus outbreak hit some families hard and some are without income and in need of basic food. Community pantries, stocked with basic, yet essential, food items have been popping up all over Thailand to help the hungry and people simply knocked sideways by the suddenness of the impact from the outbreak.
The project is called “Pantry of Sharing.” One sign says “Please feel free to take anything you need, and leave anything you can share.” Another sign says “More Give. More Love.
People leave items like instant noodles, sauces, seasonings, canned fish, bottled water, eggs and medicines. Others take what they need.
Over the past few weeks, the pantries have been spotted all over the country from Chiang Mai to southern provinces like Surat Thani and Nakhon Si Thammarat.
There are food-sharing projects all over the world, like Australia’s Foodbank and the Little Free Pantry Movement in the US. Supakit Kulchartvijit said he got the idea from similar projects and decided to start a food-sharing project in Thailand.
“When I started this idea with others, they were worried that people would take away all items or even steal the cabinet,” he told the Nation Thailand. “We set up four cabinets in Bangkok and another one in Rayong province.”
“During the past two weeks, people were gradually putting items on the shelves while those had been hurt by the outbreak took items as needed.”
While worried at first that some people would be greedy and take all of the food items, Kulchartvijit said people have been generous, continuing to stock the pantries. In Khon Kaen, a local decided to start a pantry in the Isan city, placing the cupboard outside an auto showroom on a busy street.
“I saw community pantries in other provinces and wanted to have one here in Khon Kaen.”