Charitable group to give ‘bags of hope’ to far-flung parishes in Cebu

AS PART of the celebrations of the 500 years of Christianity (YoC), the Five Loaves Two Fish Inc. (FLTFI) will distribute 1,200 “Bags of Hope” to far-flung parishes and depressed communities within the Jubilee year.

The FLTFI and the Archdiocese of Cebu organized the year-long project, which will start this month and go on until April 2022, in line with the theme, “Gifted to Give.”

Former members of the 51st International Eucharistic Congress’ Committee on Food in 2016 comprise FLTFI.

Each of the chosen parishes will have 100 recipients, mostly parishioners badly affected by the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

FLTFI president Ernesto “Ben” Chua said they wanted to give to more recipients in the chosen parishes; however, the community health protocols prohibit mass gathering, so the group must limit the number of recipients.

Each “Bag of Hope” contains basic food items such as five kilograms of rice, canned goods, cooking oil, noodles, coffee and some snacks.

Aside from distributing “Bags of Hope,” FLTFI will also give a quincentennial cross, which is made of recycled palochina wood, in response to Pope Francis’s call for the care of nature.

Designed and fabricated by the University of the Philippines Cebu’s FabLab, the quincentennial cross has markings that would remind the faithful of the journey of the faith from the colonizers to become the true expression of the Filipino spirit.

The cross has two designs: a hanging quincentennial cross and a cross with a stand.

The hanging cross will be given to the community and other donors, while the cross with a stand will be given to the bishops and to FLTFI’s major donors as a souvenir of the 500YoC celebrations.

On April 14, the 500th anniversary of the first baptism in the Philippines, the 2,000 quincentennial crosses will be blessed by the Apostolic Nuncio to the Philippines Most Rev. Charles John Brown.

The initial plan of FLTFI was to give out “Bags of Hope” to only five parishes in Cebu.

However, due to the overwhelming support they received from their friends on the project, they will distribute these Bags of Hope to 12 parishes in Cebu.

Chua said they will focus on giving the Bags of Hope to fire victims.

The distribution of the Bags of Hope will commence on April 18, 2021, at Barangay Pamutan, a mountain barangay in Cebu City under the jurisdiction of Mary Help of Christian Parish in Barangay Buhisan, Cebu City.

Before the distribution, there will be a mass presided over by the parish priest of the community. There will also be a catechism that will focus on the theme “Gifted to Give.” (KFD)