Church nutrition programme feeds 1.5 million kids
Lacanlalay expects the forthcoming PnP-DepEd partnership will regularly provide nutritious meals for six months to an estimated 360,000 undernourished grade school students.
A Church initiative HAPAG-ASA programme has been feeding as many as 1.5 million Filipino children, since its launch in 2005.
HAPAG-ASA, a compound of the Tagalog words for table and hope, is primarily implemented by the Catholic Church in the Philippines with more than 30 dioceses carrying out the programme through its Pondo ng Pinoy (PnP) schemes.
PnP, founded in 2004 by Cardinal Gaudencio Rosales of Manila, encourages rich and poor people alike to drop 25 centavos every day in donation boxes in various churches and schools. It has grown from a small church initiative to a big social service movement that has transformed the lives of the less fortunate with its many schemes to provide food, housing and even start-up capital for business ventures of the poor.
Finda Lacanlalay, executive director of the HAPAG-ASA Integrated Nutrition Programme of PnP, reported the current number is set to increase to 1.8 million once it’s planned team-up with the government’s Department of Education (DepEd) pushes through.
Lacanlalay expects the PnP-DepEd partnership will regularly provide nutritious meals for six months to an estimated 360,000 undernourished grade school students, not only in typhoon Haiyan-hit areas of the Visayas, but also in regions affected by recent calamities.
“In the communities we visit, either on the parish grounds or inside the school campus where we conduct our feeding sessions, all the children have to eat together. That way, we can closely monitor whether they are really consuming the food or not,” she explained.
HAPAG-ASA aims to develop a culture of sharing and loving for one’s neighbours. The programme also seeks to reduce malnutrition prevalence rate among 0 to 12 years old children, and to improve the capability of parents to care and provide for basic needs of their children.
The director shared that aside from the supplemental feeding, PnP helps bring parents of these children back on their feet by giving them needed counselling, values formation, and livelihood and skills training, so that they will eventually have the means to support themselves and their families. Topics on affective parenting, health and nutrition, and responsible parenthood are also discussed.
Source: CBCP News