Wednesday, April 13, 2011


“So far we’ve been lucky because we have generous people,” declared Pablito Alarcon, who helped establish the Feed the Hungry in 1993, as the recession takes its toll on charitable giving.

Feed the Hungry was formed nearly two decades ago by Pablito’s wife Tessie, a former president of the World Bank Group-IMF Filipino Staff Association, to feed street children in Manila during the Christmas holidays.

They’ve since branched out to helping build school classrooms and other educational help, donations in kind and gift-giving for indigents in the Philippines, among others. It has become one of the most enduring Fil-Am charity organizations in the Metro DC region.

“We tried harder because we know they (donations) are needed in the Philippines and so we hope our kababayans will be helping in one way or another,” he explained.

With the help of donations from Fil-Ams in the Metro DC region during the Typhoon Ondoc relief campaign in 2010, Alarcon said Feed the Hungry was able to fund the rehabilitation of this Industrial Arts Building at the Maulawin Elementary School in Pagsanjan, Laguna.

The wooden jalousies were replaced with glass and provided with iron grills for security.

“The bathroom was upgraded to Feed the Hungry standard of flushing toilet, wash basin, toilet paper and soap holder, ceramic tiles in the floor and walls; the whole building was given a new coat of paint,” Alarcon revealed.

“But the assistance to students can not stop there,” he added, “We found out that the room is very clean but empty. Students go there and listen to lectures on how to use tools without actually seeing or touching one.”

They were able to build 5 classrooms last year, and plan to complete 7 this year.

Each classroom costs about $8,000, he explained.

They plan to continue a feeding program that was done in Dolores, Eastern Samar last year.

They are also in the process of shipping donated dialysis machines to Davao.

Alarcon said one reason they’ve been able to expand their donor base despite the tough times is the yearly visits to these projects in the Philippines.

They conducted 45 missions last year.

“People are getting to know what we’re doing so we’re inviting people to join the missions so they can see themselves,” he said.

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