Food banking in the Philippines took an important step on March 27 with the formal incorporation of Salu-Salo: Food Bank Philippines at an inaugural dinner with Secretary Dinky Soliman of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), founding members, supporters, and key stakeholders.  At this meeting a vision for food banking as a means to increase food security was shared.

While feeding programs in the Philippines have been around for many years, it was in 2007 when Bruce Hall, a board member of Second Harvest Asia and a then friend of Charles, invited Charles McJilton of Second Harvest Japan (2HJ) to Iloilo to give a presentation on food banking that a vision for creating a food banking system began. Jane Walker of Philippine Christian Fund (PCF) also shared this vision and the three met and talked about collaborating on this project. Over the years slow progress was made, and the Global FoodBanking Network (GFN) made three trips to investigate how they could assist.

In 2008, 2HJ signed an MOU with DSWD and delivered 120 tons of aid to the country. In 2009 2HJ  reached out again to send aid to those who were affected by the flooding in Manila. In 2010 a new government came to power and Charles was able to meet the incoming head of the DSWD, Secretary Dinky Soliman, prior to the inauguration and discuss the potential for food banking. By chance, Sec. Dinky had actually volunteered at a food bank in Boston while living in the U.S. and understood the power and potential for food banking. This lead to a new MOU signed in 2011 to work closer on developing food banking in the Philippines.

Signing first MOU with DSWD in 2008

Signing first MOU with DSWD in 2008

Signing MOU with DSWD

A new MOU signed in 2011 to work closer on developing food banking in the Philippines

In the last six months Second Harvest Japan and Second Harvest Asia have worked together to deliver over 140 tons of aid to DSWD for redistribution to various feeding programs and NGOs. These donations were, in Charles McJilton’s words, “Help us kick-start food banking activities.”

DSWD's Warehouse in Manila

DSWD’s warehouse in Manila.

2HJ's Food Donations At DSWD's Warehouse

Food supplies shipped from Japan by Second Harvest Japan.

Salu-Salo : Food Bank Philippines Board Members:

  • ·      Sherilyn T. Siy
  • ·      Charles Earl McJilton IV
  • ·      Ma. Cristina Elena S. Bonoan
  • ·      April Rose S. Mabanes
  • ·      Jane Walker

One of the Founding Members, Sherilyn Siy, Signs the Incorporation Documents

One of the founding members, Sherilyn Siy signs the incorporation documents.

The Inauguration Meeting/Dinner Party

The inauguration meeting/dinner party

Second Harvest Asia will develop a regional food bank network in Asia to share best practices and experiences with other food banks. We hold online meetings regularly with regional food bank members. If you are interested in joining our regional network, please contact us at