Feeding Program

The picture above shows the ongoing FOLPMI Feeding Program at Paranaque funded by the Presidential Management Staff.

This is in answer to Dr. Annely Celocia's queery on Feeding Programs.

The alleviation of malnutrition is mandated by the Philippine Constitution which is to be implemented by the Department of Social Welfare and Development. In addition, numerous nongovernment organizations assist such programs like HAPAG-ASA,under the Diocese supporting Pondo ng Pinoy, and the Food for the Hungry which is an international organization.

1.) In a feeding program, the first thing to do is assess the community. Check if the project is feasible and sustainable. The community must identify malnutrition as a problem and not merely use the feeding program as a means to feed their children. For one, you can't make it a dole out project.

2.) Identify prospective leaders and volunteers. It is important to coordinate with the existing political or organizational hierarchy.

3.) Identify the children who badly need the assistance. To avoid bias, use the Department of Health method of identifying malnourished kids. The barangay nutrition scholar, a local public employee, knows this. I believe the community health workers know this as well. There is a standard for anthropometric measurements for Filipinos based on weight and height in determining malnutrition. This will also be your baseline in monitoring the children every month. This is to check if you are successful with your program.

4.) Always engage the community. Include the parents of the children in planning the menu, marketing, cooking, monitoring and evaluation. You can organize the mothers and even fathers to these tasks. Someday they will get the idea of the program and if they like it, then they can sustain it. Remember you don't owe the community anything, you are just there to facilitate or be an instrument. When you feel it is time for you to go and let them do the job, then go as quickly as you can but keep a close eye.

5.) Remember to always document, monitor and evaluate. This is your basis for the success or failure of the program. These will be your hard evidence to the funding agencies. From experience, HAPAG-ASA, Pondong Pinoy and Food for the Hungry provide fortified nutrimeals. In 6 months, children can already graduate from the program, meaning their weight is already at par with their age group.

P.S. Remember to deworm before starting the feeding. Antihelminthics are available at the health center or you can request from Janssen Philippines. Keep a balance diet, include vegetables and meat, not merely porridge.

For other schemes, I've read that in a small farming town in Bangladesh, a successful feeding program was done by alloting a small farm land to be planted with peas as a source of protein. Protein Energy Malnutrition is a major problem among Filipinos so adding Tofu or Taho would be great.

For more info inquire or visit: Pondo ng Pinoy Community Foundation, Inc
2002 Jesuit Street, Pandacan, Manila Tel: 5639310

Below is a project proposal we submitted to the Presidential Management Staff. The Foundation of Our Lady of Peace Mission Inc is a faith based organization so hopefully you'll understand the holistic approach of the program.

Name of Project: "Our Children, Our Future: Child Development Assistance Program"

To assist indigent children in their physical, mental and spiritual development that will allow them to be at par with their age group.

The poorest of the poor children who come from the 8 daycare centers of the Foundation of Our Lady of Peace Mission, Inc. will be the beneficiaries of the program.


The national situation: 70% of the population of the Philippines is children. Among Filipino parents, 35% have enough means and capacity to educate their children, 25% are able educate their children with the help of government and nongovernmental assistance. This leaves 40% whose parents have no means at all to find assistance. Their children dropout of schooling after 2 years. This 40% represents 8,000,000 Filipinos who will not be able to improve their status in life. They are hungry, uneducated and worse multiplying themselves in numbers by brining up their own children in the same environment.

What our Foundation is doing?
The foundation has established 8 day care centers and 9 feeding centers for children for 6 years old and below. We are able to help about 300 children every year. After age six, we can only help by means of scholarship to only 1% of the graduates.

What this proposal would like to do?
To organize a new program, helping these children go up further and be part of the mainstream, where they are no longer a liability to the community.

Components of our Proposal
1.) The Nutrition Component shall provide adequate food with complete nutrients to the children. Many children are hungry and are sickly, hence they cannot perform normally at home and in school. We have made initial arrangements with the Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI) to develop a nutritious instant meal. Once developed the product can be adopted and be distributed to the feeding centers. Enclosed with this letter is the project proposal by FNRI for the research and development of the said meal. Compared to foreign food relief products, this will be made from indigenous raw materials and palatable to the Filipino taste..

2.) The Educational Assistance shall provide proper uniform, shoes and school materials for each child from the start of the school year. A student monitor will be employed to guide the parents of the children together with the school authorities throughout the school year.

3.) The Health Component shall be the counterpart of the foundation where these children, belonging to the poorest families, shall have a reqular monthly examination. Medications and referrals shall be met accordingly.

4.) The Spiritual Component shall be the counterpart of the parish and parents through the coordination of the student monitor.

The initial beneficiaries shall be grades 1 and 2 with an estimated total of 300 students who have graduated from the foundation's daycare center and underwent a psychosocioeconomic screening.


1 comment:

  1. Dear Dr. Abello,

    Thank you so much for spending time in answering my request with regards to organizing a Malnutrition/ Feeding Program here in Cebu City. Your suggestions will really be of great help. The task is quite overwhelming right now. I do think it is feasible but the sustainability of the project is really a big question as of the present considering that Our Lady of Fatima Parish (Basak, Mandaue City) who sought for our help (CVGH-DFCM) for this proposed project is composed approximately of 15 barangays (divided into 24 chapels with 3-5 zones per chapel). Being the representative of our department, I was just overwhelmed by the immensity of the task (we really lack personnel right now--- there are only 5 of us, residents, currently in the department). As a compromise, I think we will start up with just one barangay firs and I suggested to have a livelihood program done simultaneously so as to be able to raise funds. I'm writing a project proposal to tie-up the community with an NGO who can help them with livelihood projects. Thank you also for informing me about other funding agencies. These will really help us for our present and future projects.

    This website is really helpful. I really commend you for this great idea. I do hope my other colleagues to whom I referred this website will find this useful and so fulfill it's mission to improve Philippine health system online and then in actuality, too.

    Thank you so much and God bless.

    A.J. Celocia, M.D.