Christmas came early for four select institutions in Pampanga as Mekeni Food Corporation employees spearheaded the company’s annual gift-giving tradition.
Beneficiaries from the Bahay Pag-ibig (home for the aged), Munting Tahanan ng Nazareth (for special and abandoned children), Duyan ni Maria (home for abandoned children), and Children’s Home of Immaculate Mary (home for abandoned children) received special gift packs which Mekeni employees gathered using the funds the management and they themselves raised.
“Christmas is all about giving but more than the gifts we have given our communities, we aspire to spread hope amidst these difficult times we are facing. We know that due to the pandemic, celebrating Christmas will not be the same this year. But we will not let this dampen the yuletide spirit as we ought to make this season more meaningful than ever,” said Mekeni’s Head of HR, Marilou Uy.
Mekeni has been doing this annual gift-giving program since 2008. However, due to the health concerns surrounding COVID-19, the program had to be done differently. Rather than going to the institutions and holding a program, Mekeni employees had to drop off the gifts in designated areas to ensure safety precautions can be maintained.
With the support of the management, Mekeni employees were able to provide joy to their beneficiaries through grocery packages that can sustain their basic food and hygiene requirements for the next three to six months.
“We hope to give memorable experiences and lasting memories for our beneficiaries through our annual gift-giving tradition. But this year, despite the challenges, we go over and beyond our mission by reminding them that whatever the pandemic throws at us, we will continue to serve them and uplift the quality of their lives in every way we can,” Uy said.
Apart from giving gifts to their partner communities, Mekeni did not hesitate to continue looking after the well-being of those who are beyond their circle. When disasters badly hit several places in Luzon, Mekeni employees showed their malasakit and perseverance to help the devastated communities through donation drives.
February 2020, after the Taal Volcano erupted, the company, together with the local government of Porac, Red Cross Rizal Chapter, and Rotary Club of San Juan del Monte, immediately went to Agoncillo, Batangas and held an outreach program for those who were affected. More than 2,000 hot meals were prepared and provided by the employees on-site.
Recently, food packs were turned over to the flood victims in the town of Macabebe and to the Aeta communities in Porac, Pampanga that have been hit by Typhoons Rolly and Ulysses. The indigenous communities were given gift packs consisting of food and other essentials. Mekeni also participated in outreach activities in Bicol by donating products for a feeding program there.
“Malasakit in the time of adversity is much-needed by our fellow Filipinos these days. As we ensure that our own employees and their families are safe and well-provided, we are also helping other communities to recover after being hit by natural disasters on top of the physical and economic problems that the pandemic has brought to them. We will continue reaching out to more communities to address their needs during these trying times,” said Mekeni President Prudencio S. Garcia.