Tagle urges faithful to fast, donate money to calamity victims

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MANILA, March 3, 2014—Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle called on the Filipino faithful to participate in a fund-raising program that aims to feed children of disaster-stricken areas this Lenten season. 

In a pastoral statement for Ash Wednesday, Tagle urged Filipinos to support Fast2Feed, the fund campaign for Pondo ng Pinoy’s Hapag-Asa feeding program, and contribute to its cause of feeding children in Zamboanga, Bohol, Cebu, and other areas ravaged by Super Typhoon Yolanda (international name: Haiyan) in Central Visayas. 

Tagle said that the series of natural and man-made calamities that struck the country has brought about “widespread hunger and misery among the people,” a situation that calls for charitable acts to reign supreme in the hearts of Filipinos. 

“To live charitably means carrying the burdens of the weakest and poorest among us, to be in solidarity with them,” Tagle said, noting that the Season of Lent is an opportune time to live charitably while abandoning sinful acts and habits. 

Through Fast2Feed, the faithful are urged to fast during the entire Lenten season and donate the money they are supposed to spend on food to feed the children. 

Hapag-Asa has fed more than one million hungry and undernourished children since it started in 2005. It feeds children six months to 12 years old once a day, five times a week for six months. 

Pondo ng Pinoy provides food subsidy of P5 to P10 per day or P600 to P1,200 for six months per child. 

Parents of Hapag-Asa’s children beneficiaries will also be provided with livelihood and skills training to give them access to employment and income-generating activities. 

Aside from doing charitable acts to the poor, Tagle also called on the laity to offer prayers to those who suffered the wrath of recent calamities that struck the country. 

“As we start our spiritual journey today…Let us also remember in our prayers our brothers and sisters who perished from the recent tragedies and let us continue giving help to those who lost their homes, livelihood and loved ones,” Tagle said. (Jennifer Orillaza)

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