There’s currently a table full of food outside Jader Aldana’s house. You can trade a rice for pasta or, if you don’t have money, you can just take it. Solidarity is key.
In the midst of the storm, solidarity is essential. That’s why on difficult days, like the ones currently experienced by the world due to the coronavirus pandemic, taking care of each other and helping one another out is necessary.
In Frontino, Colombia, an initiative stands out for its great spirit. Neighbors can trade food products in a “trusting exchange”. They exchange a kilo of rice for pasta or a can of tuna. If they need a product from the family basket, they can take it without leaving anything in exchange or donating what they can.
He puts basic products at the disposal of the community on a wooden table. In times of compulsory isolation, supplies are one of the major concerns.
At first those passing by, didn’t approach it, but now many are checking out the «traveling pantry», as they’ve named it.
This is the pantry that Jader Aldana López, 30, set up outside his home that is open to the community. In addition to helping with food issues, he also cares for those who approach him. He hung hand sanitizer outside his window, thus complying with the minimum hygiene and protection protocols.
Aldana told RCN Radio that his aunt designed the poster for the makeshift pantry that says: «I count on you, you count on me» and «If you need it, take it. If you can spare something, donate it.”
“An aunt of mine made the billboard for me. I took out some things that I had in my house, I put them on the table. As people pass by, they take a few products to prepare their day’s food. Most are people with limited economic resources,» she told the portal.
«We’ve been doing this for about four days. We started with basic things I had in my house like rice, lentils and brown sugar and the people who help me in my other activities have brought me more things, thank God,» she told Noticias Caracol.
The initiative was celebrated by the mayor of Frontino, Jorge Elejalde, who told RCN Radio that «it shows the human and caring side of this municipality’s residents.»
He also highlighted the system’s positive aspects, as it’s based on trust. If a person has something they can spare, they can donate it, leave it or simply exchange something for it. Everyone takes no more than what they deem necessary.
«I have been very impressed by its reception. The truth is that this is everyone’s initiative, taken by ordinary people, who just want to help and generate social and citizen culture,» he said.
Jader said he copied the idea, but this is of little significance. All that matters is that his project is helping the community. In fact, 20 low-income families have already benefited from this pantry. The young man hopes that the idea will be replicated elsewhere.
Taking care of one another and protecting ourselves from the coronavirus is everyone’s job. Therefore, it’s important to take the necessary measures to prevent its spread.