Commentary: Feeding program, a good strategy to fight hunger and malnutrition
By Jessie R. Valdez
San Fernando City, La Union (4 April) -- The fight against hunger should be a vehicle for national unity and platform of good citizenship for all Filipinos here and abroad, President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo said in a statement as she called on also various sectors to help with the government's hunger mitigation program to fight against hunger particularly during summer vacation.
In line with PGMA's order of battle against poverty and hunger, the city Government of San Fernando City, La Union under the leadership of Mayor Mary Jane C. Ortega thru the City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWDO) continue their year-round supplemental feeding program to preschoolers with below nutritional status and even the mentally ill children and adult.
The Office of the CSWDO headed by Ms. Sally C. Matoza, City Social Welfare & Development Officer bared in their 2006 report that a total of 824 malnourished children covering 41 barangays while 10 mentally ill children and adult were benefited with the supplemental feeding program.
The report also indicated that in a span of one year feeding the children with milk, samporado and arrozcaldo, it was found out that it had improved the nutritional status of the underweight or malnourished children. As a proof, based from their master list for CY 2007, only 470 children now are found to be beneficiaries with the feeding program. A decrease of almost one half from 824 to 470 children.
Among the 41 barangays covered with the program, barangays Catbangen and Lingsat topped to have the most number of malnourished children followed by Santiago Norte, Sevilla, Pagdalagan, Bungro, Sibuan-Otong, and the like. The report also indicated that there were more male than female children who were underweight.
During one of the city Nutrition Month Celebration, Mayor Ortega said in a statement "the feeding program is a very good strategy to mitigate hunger and poverty and in addressing the health problem among poor children." The Mayor also lauded the Arroyo Administration, implementers of the program as well as those who supported and gave their voluntary financial assistance like the Inner Wheel club of San Fernando North and even employees of the City Government & CSWDO.
Meanwhile, the Food-for -School program of President Arroyo is complemented by supplemental feeding program of the DSWD which also received a separate funding from the national Government. The DSWD will feed malnourished children in the day care centers. (PIA La Union) [top]