THE nutrition of the 2,324 children enrolled in day-care centers in Northern Mindanao has improved after a 120-day feeding program implemented by the government.

More than 132,000 children were given supplementary food by the Department of Social Welfare and Development through its Supplementary Feeding Program (SFP). Before the program, 15,077 children were reported to be malnourished.

Araceli F. Solamillo, regional director of the DSWD 10, said malnutrition among the day-care children dropped by 1.77 percent six months after the feeding program started.

“From 11.37 percent rate of malnutrition, there was a remarkable decrease to 9.60 percent of malnutrition among these children,” said Solamillo.

In its 2008 National Nutrition Survey, the Department of Science and Technology reported that malnutrition was prevalent among Filipino children. The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) also showed in its 2006 Family Income and Expenditure Survey that about 1.1 percent of Filipino families were categorized as hungry and food-poor.

Under the feeding program, hot meals were served during snack or meal time to day care children five days a week for 120 days. The parents helped in the program by managing and preparing the food using indigenous food supplies.