Celebrating Nutrition Month

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Monday, July 7, 2014


ELEMENTARY and secondary schools all over the country will again observe the annual Nutrition Month or “Buwan ng Nutrisyon” this July.

This is pursuant to Presidential Decree 49 or the Nutrition Act of the Philippines signed on June 25, 1974.

The National Nutrition Council (NNC) leads the nationwide launching of Nutrition Month. This year's theme is “Kalamidad paghandaan: Gutom at malnutrisyon agapan!”

The theme aims to underscore the necessity of hunger and malnutrition prevention among Filipinos to minimize the impact of calamities and disasters, according to NNC.

The council has instructed the Department of Education and local government units through the local nutrition committees “to plan for activities related to nutrition in emergency preparedness as these committees are also the local nutrition clusters.”

The NNC has outlined the following goals in relation to this year’s Nutrition Month celebration:

1) promote interventions to address nutritional needs in emergencies and disasters including preparedness, response and recovery;

2) mobilize responders particularly the local nutrition clusters and stakeholders to address gaps in nutrition in emergencies response from national to barangay levels; and

3) increase awareness among families and individuals on coping and resiliency strategies to prevent malnutrition and worsening of nutritional status in times of emergencies and disasters.

Various activities have been lined up throughout the country for the month-long celebration, including planting of vegetables and fruit-growing trees at schools, day care centers, communities, hospitals, parks, and residences; forums, lectures, and seminars; contests, concerts, exhibits, and sports festivals.

Barangay Nutrition Scholars (BNS) are frontliners in delivering nutrition and health services in the barangays, and key implementers in the advocacy for community development projects. Some 22,083 BNS are currently deployed by NNC in 954 municipalities covering 19,032 barangays nationwide.

Meanwhile, the Negros Occidental Provincial Nutrition Council which convened recently is pushing for food security in the province.

Provincial Nutrition Program Coordinator Ma. Teena Pineda said that one of the council’s top priorities is to campaign for the food security program, one of the thrusts of the provincial government under the NEGROS FIRST executive-legislative Agenda of Governor Alfredo Marañon Jr.

Pineda added that they are campaigning for the establishment of vegetable gardens or food security gardens not just in schools but also in the communities’ backyards.

“This is a good model for the community or barangay so that families will no longer buy vegetables from the market. (Since it would be) readily available in their backyard, (it) minimizes cost to the families as well,” Pineda said. (With reports from NNC/PIA)

Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on July 07, 2014.

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