Philippines to roll out house-to-house feeding program for undernourished students

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 06 2020 08:19 PM

Rachel Senolos assists her two sons, grade 5 student Billy John Salvane and grade 2 student Neil John Salvane, in their online classes as public schools open amid the COVID-19 pandemic, on Oct. 5, 2020. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News 

MANILA -- The government will deliver food packs to houses of undernourished schoolchildren while in-person classes remain banned due to the COVID-19 pandemic, an official said Tuesday. 

The Department of Education leads a supplemental food program for students from Kinder to Grade 6, while the social welfare department focuses on younger children, said Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles.

“Sa pagbubukas ng klase, ang mga supplemental feeding program ay maaari nang magsimula; bahay-bahay kaming mamamahagi ng mga masusustansyang produktong pagkain kasi wala ng face to face classes,” he said in a statement. 

(With the opening of classes, supplemental feeding programs can now start, too. We will distribute healthy food products house to house because there are no face to face classes.)

The science and technology department came up with the food packs that would include hot meals, Nutribun, fresh milk, micronutrient packs, iron-fortified rice, among others, said Nograles, who chairs the government's Zero Hunger Task Force.

Development workers, supervised neighborhood play workers, and barangay volunteers will help with the distribution, he said. 

"We cannot afford a stunted future; we must feed the future, we must save the children from malnutrition––by saving a generation, we are saving our country,” he said. 

ABS-CBN News is getting details on how many children will benefit under the program and when it will start, as of this posting. 

Some 22.5 million students in Philippine public schools resumed Monday their classes through distance learning, which was implemented on a nationwide scale for the first time due to the pandemic. 

This mode of learning uses the radio and television broadcast, online classes, and printed modules.