US company, NGO conduct feeding program in Davao-A A +A
Friday, June 22, 2012
AN AMERICAN company through a non-government organization (NGO) started its school-based feeding program on Friday in a public school in Davao City as part of the campaign to help lower the incidence of malnutrition among elementary school children in the country.
The Feeding Hope Program is under the "Pasiglahin and Estudyanteng Pinoy" (PEP) of Kabisig ng Kalahi, which partnered with Mead Johnson Nutrition for funding to the program.
Paul Andrew Richards, sponsor Mead Johnson Nutrition, said the feeding program will last for six months, making sure that beneficiaries will gain significant weight while being enrolled in the program.
This was the first time the firm conducted a feeding program in Davao City and selected Magallanes Elementary School, which was identified by the Department of Education (DepEd) as having the most number of malnourished children.
Other schools in Davao City the firm plan to include in the PEP program this year are Matina Elementary School and Catalunan Pequiño. There are 39 other schools which are currently being evaluated by DepEd.
Students are chosen by their beneficiary schools. The schools then will identify 30 of its most malnourished children aged six years old and above.
"It (feeding program) is designed for six months," Richards told business reporters. He said six months are enough time for the schools and parents to develop the habit of preparing nutritious foods.
The firm has committed to donate P60,000 for every module with 30 children. The amount includes milk and nutritionally balanced meal. Every pupil will receive three glasses of milk a day with and a hot meal every lunch.
The PEP program seeks to address hunger and health issues of school children to reduce the drop-out rates and improve children's performance in the school.
The drop-rates in participating schools have been reduced to less than one percent significantly to less than one percent, which is significantly lower than the 33 percent national average.
Meanwhile, Victoria Wieneke, NGO's president, said this initiative "is not just for feeding but also for nation building."
Apart for the school-based feeding program, the NGO also goes around the region to visit 300 villages for community-based feeding program.
She said the feeding program in Davao City is in its second year already.
The NGO is eyeing 39 schools nationwide to benefit the PEP program, although beneficiaries are yet to be identified by the Education department.
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on June 23, 2012.