Project Karinderya helps vulnerable businesses, families amid pandemic


You certainly know what “Karinderya” means, but have you heard about “Project Karinderya?”

Project Karinderya is an undertaking by 18 foundations and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) which have  been helping micro enterprises, particularly owners of food stalls or ‘karinderya,’ to restart their businesses as well as urban poor communities.

The project distributes meals to poor families through food stall owners. This has also helped micro enterprises to continue their businesses amid the pandemic.

Under its program, every participating karinderya has to serve meals to 20 families in their community for 30 days.

The recipient families receive vouchers they use to claim meals from participating karinderyas.

Kabuhayan sa Ganap na Kasarinlan Credit and Savings Cooperative (K-Coop) and its affiliate Kasagana-ka Development Center, Inc. (KDCI) are the organizations that select the participating micro enterprises and beneficiary families.

In a recent virtual briefing Friday, K-Coop general manager Maria Ana de Rosas-Ignacio said the project aims to assist karinderya owners to restart their businesses after lockdown measures implemented at the onset of the Covid-19 forced them to close.

“Karinderya in urban poor communities are ideal partners in making safe and well-prepared meals easily accessible to families suffering from hunger brought about by the pandemic,” Ignacio said.

In a survey conducted by the Covid-19 Civil Society Sector Organizations and Private Sector Coalition or NGO Collab from April to May 2020, 75% of 3,296 respondents in urban poor communities said they lost their source of income amid the pandemic, while 21%  said their income was tremendously reduced.

Of the total number of respondents, 87% also said they are no longer able to meet their needs amid the crisis.

Ignacio said Project Karinderya also aims to assist vulnerable communities to address their hunger needs.

In another NGO Collab survey, 62% of the respondents from 141 barangays in seven cities in Metro Manila said the food packs they received during the strict community quarantine period were insufficient for their family needs

The survey results inspired NGO Collab and fellow members of the Bayanihan Musikahan to conceive and launch Project Karinderya.

Jollibee Group Foundation (JGF) executive director Gisela Tiongson said karinderya owners also receive assistance from them, and “JGF ensures food safety practices are adopted by karinderyas”

The Foundation also trains food stall owners on systems of food preparation, food safety, and customer service, Tiongson added.

As of late, Project Karinderya has partnered with 50 food stall owners serving meals to 1,000 families. The project aims to further expand its outreach to cover 240 more karinderyas this December to provide 30-day meal subsidies to 4,800 families.

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