Wednesday, September 2, 2020

‘Baker Bishop’ of Sorsogon feeds hungry with help from Jollibee Group

“Organized efforts—such as those undertaken through the Bread of Life Program in Sorsogon—help us ensure that we would be able to bring food safely and directly to the areas where they are most needed.” ~Gisela Tiongson, Jollibee Group Foundation Executive Director
Through Bread of Life, the Diocese of Sorsogon, local parishes and bakeries were able to distribute bread to 16,000 frontliners and households all over the Sorsogon Province.
About one in every five families in Sorsogon lived below the poverty line, according to a report from the Philippine Statistics Authority. But Bishop Alan already knew this even before transferring to the diocese, as he too, was a native Bicolano, hailing from Camarines Norte. He felt compelled to help his parishioners and their communities because the pandemic and the lockdowns were not only a threat to the health of these communities but also their livelihoods and food sources.

Bishop Jose Alan V. Dialogo was just about to celebrate his third month at the Diocese of Sorsogon when the community quarantine was imposed due to the spread of COVID-19. 
“Nagkainteres ako sa pagbe-bake dahil sa Foundation—dati, nagbe-bake kami para sa fundraising (I got interested in baking because of the Foundation—we used to bake to help raise funds). Dahil nga sa pandemya, iyong tinapay na ginagawa natin bilang tulong sa mga frontliners at komunidad, nagbibigay ng buhay sa kanila—inspirasyon din habang sila nasa panganib at napapagod. Binibigyan din natin sila ng buhay para alam nila na andyan tayo, nagsusuporta sa kanila (Because of the pandemic, the bread that we made for the frontliners and families not only nourished them physically, but also provided inspiration especially while they are at risk and weary. We helped nourish them so that they would know that they have people who are ready to support them).” ~Bishop Jose Alan V. Dialogo 
From bishop to baker: Bishop Jose Alan V. Dialogo started baking 1,500 pcs. of bread per day in order to help feed the hungry when the lockdown was implemented in Sorsogon.
Using the equipment he brought with him, Bishop Alan decided to start baking bread to be distributed to those who needed it in the community. From about 6 in the morning to past 6 at night, he started baking about 1,500 pieces of bread everyday with the help of some church personnel, nuns, and other volunteers.

Foundation, Inc., a foundation he helped establish for underprivileged children. But this time, instead of feeding only orphan children, Bishop Alan’s initiative would help feed the entire province of Sorsogon.

Multiplication of bread
When Fr. Rowan, also from the diocese, heard about the bishop's initiative, he reached out to his friends and family for support. Soon enough, someone from his network was able to connect Fr. Rowan to the Jollibee Group.

The Jollibee Group sent 484 sacks of flour, eggs, and margarine to the diocese. This was part of its FoodAID Program wherein the group committed to donating a total of P220 million-worth of food to frontliners and communities in need all over the Philippines.
“Noong nakita ng obispo ko na ang ide-deliver ng Jollibee Group Foundation ay nasa 484 sacks of flour, parang kinabahan s’ya. Sabi n’ya, ‘Paano ko ibe-bake lahat ito—hindi ko kaya!’ (When my bishop saw that the Jollibee Group was willing to deliver 484 sacks of flour, he seemed nervous. He said, “How could I possibly use up all of these?’. For every 10 sacks of flour given to the participating bakeries, three sacks were used to produce breads that will be distributed by the parish stations to the poor and the frontliners. Most of the bakeries, however, were generous enough to offer 60-40 and 50-50 sharing for the flour. Once they see something good, the generosity in others is also spurred. I think that’s also the idea behind the multiplication of loaves and fish by Jesus Christ. It’s actually a multiplication of generosity, more than just a miracle.” ~Fr. Rowan
The Jollibee Group sent 484 sacks of floor, as well as other ingredients, to the Diocese of Sorsogon—which kick-started the Bread of Life Program.
The Diocese enlisted the help of 44 bakeries and 14 parishes around Sorsogon to help them make use of the Jollibee Group’s donations, as well as in distributing them directly to the communities.

Under the Bread of Life Program, the Diocese and Caritas Sorsogon delivered the flour to partner bakeshops and parishes, with the bakeries supplying the rest of the ingredients, aside from the labor and other expenses

Now that restrictions have been eased in Sorsogon, Bishop Alan and the Diocese will continue baking every Saturday for the children in the area. He hopes that this feeding program would be coupled with catechism when face-to-face gatherings would be allowed. For now, the Diocese shares lessons and reflections through their programs through Spirit FM Sorsogon’s radio station and social media pages.

About Jollibee Group Foundation

Jollibee Group Foundation (JGF) is the social responsibility arm of Jollibee Foods Corporation (JFC), one of the largest and fastest growing Asian restaurant companies in the world. JGF implements programs on agriculture, education, and disaster response with partner communities nationwide.

About Jollibee Foods Corporation

Jollibee Group is one of the fastest-growing Asian restaurant companies in the world. It operates in 35 countries, with over 5,800 stores globally with branches in the Philippines, United States, Canada, the People's Republic of China (including Hong Kong and Macau), United Kingdom, Italy, Vietnam, Brunei, Singapore, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Oman, Kuwait, Bahrain, Indonesia, Costa Rica, Egypt, El Salvador, Panama, and Malaysia. It has 8 wholly-owned brands (Jollibee, Chowking, Greenwich, Red Ribbon, Mang Inasal, Yonghe King, Hong Zhuang Yuan, Smashburger), 3 franchised brands (Burger King and Panda Express in the Philippines, Dunkin' Donuts in certain territories in China),  80% ownership of The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, and 60% ownership in the SuperFoods Group that owns Highlands Coffee and PHO24 brands.

Jollibee Group has investments in Titan Dining LP, the ultimate holding entity of Tim Ho Wan Pte. Ltd. (the Master Franchisee of Tim Ho Wan in the Asia Pacific region excluding Hong Kong); and a business venture with award-winning Chef Rick Bayless to build Tortazo, a Mexican fast-casual restaurant business in the United States.

Jollibee Group has been named the Philippines' most admired company by the Asian Wall Street Journal for eight years and was honored as one of 'Asia's Fab 50 Companies' by Forbes Asia Magazine.

Jollibee Group has grown brands that bring delightful dining experiences to its customers worldwide, in line with its mission of serving great tasting food and spreading the joy of eating to everyone.

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