BANGKOK – Villages and urban communities in Thailand have turned to helping neighbours left jobless due to the coronavirus lockdown by creating dozens of local food banks comprising instant noodles, canned food, rice grains and soap bars.
Within days, ” Pantry of Sharing” locations have sprung up in 44 provinces across Thailand and number more than 150 cabinets.
“We realised that many Thais are facing a crisis of no income and no money to buy food due to Covid-19,” said Mr Supakit Kulchartvijit.
Mr Supakit initiated the project in Thailand starting with five pantries – four in Bangkok and one in the western province of Rayong – inspired by the Little Free Pantry in the United States.
“We don’t want to take a lot because we should also share with others… I only take what I need,” said 62-year-old grandmother Gingpetch Lorthong, whose husband is without a job and has to feed five other members in her family.
Although Thailand has eased some restrictions, allowing some businesses to resume, much of the Thai workforce remains out of work and short of cash.
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has meanwhile condemned those who emptied the free pantries, Bangkok Post reported on Wednesday (May 13).
“There should not be a repeat of the incidents. We must have think about others. If you continue such abuse, no one will want to donate,” the Prime Minister said on Tuesday (May 12).
Video clips shared online showed some people arriving in cars and on motorcycles to take away the donated items by the bagful.
The Prime Minister said other recipients should look out for and protest against these hoarders when they come across them.
He said people should learn to share and have compassion for others, the Post reported.
Thailand on Wednesday reported no new coronavirus cases for the first time since March 9.
The country has 3,017 cases and 56 deaths since the outbreak escalated in January.
This article was first published in Asia One . All contents and images are copyright to their respective owners and sources.