Community pantry pioneer named 2022 AirAsia Stellar Awardee

Ana Patricia Non was awarded the 2022 AirAsia Stellar Award for her community pantry initiative, which became a nationwide movement in 2021. Photo by Raoul Esperas

MANILA — Ana Patricia Non, known for her community pantry initiative amid the COVID-19 pandemic, was given the 2022 Stellar Award of the Year by airline AirAsia on Tuesday.

Non, 28, is the first recipient of the award.

In her acceptance speech, the University of the Philippines Fine Arts graduate thanked AirAsia for recognizing her efforts in the community pantry initiative.

“It was only last year that I realized that there were more than 6,000 community pantries set up nationwide. Pagtulong lang po talaga ang layunin ko. I did not realize that I have inspired many kind-hearted people,” Non said.

In 2021, Non initiated the Maginhawa community pantry in Quezon City as a way of providing food and other basic commodities to residents amid the pandemic.

The initiative sparked a snowball effect, prompting other communities to set up pantries of their own.

For his part, AirAsia chief executive officer Ricky Isla said the award recognizes the contribution of employees, stakeholders, the media, and other personalities during the pandemic.

“We were all affected by the pandemic and we at AirAsia value everyone’s contribution to keep us all on our feet and defeat the pandemic. Now that we are on the road to recovery, let AirAsia recognize all of you who stand by our side,” Isla said.

Aside from Non, other personalities were also recognized, including ABS-CBN News’ Jacque Manabat.

—with report from Raoul Esperas