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Wednesday, 31 January 2024

DSWD feeds 73,680 children in Caraga with nutritious meals

By Jennifer Gaitano

Children from Barangays Maon, Golden Ribbon, and Pangabugan, all in Butuan City, happily queued for the free arroz caldo during a feeding program by multi-sectoral groups. Photo by PIA-Caraga.

BUTUAN CITY – The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Field Office in the Caraga region has served hot and nutritious meals to 73,680 children across the 71 local government units (LGUs) in the region under the Supplementary Feeding Program (SFP) .

DSWD Caraga Regional Director Mari-Flor Dollaga-Libang shared the accomplishment, saying, “On its 13th cycle of implementation, this feeding vulnerable program was made possible through the transfer of funds modality.”

“Beyond providing meals, the DSWD FO Caraga's distribution of fresh milk to 5,000 children in the five identified LGUs within Caraga is ongoing. This concerted effort underscored the commitment to address hunger and enhanced the overall nutritional well-being of the region's young population,” Libang said.

Libang further stressed that their mission is to serve the Caraganon children and to ensure that they receive the optimal nutrition required for their growth and development. 

During the recently held SFP's Implementation Review (PIR) for the year 2023, Protective Services Division (PSD) chief Jessie Catherine Aranas, took the opportunity to extend the department’s gratitude to all the stakeholders for their unwavering partnership, support, and efforts in delivering the necessary services to the vulnerable sectors. 

“The SFP has become assistive to the children's food intake, aiming to achieve the 'no-hunger' goal that resonated with the organization's unwavering dedication to the community,” Aranas said.

Aranas also revealed that beyond the immediate impact of providing hot meals, the FO fostered a holistic approach to community development. 

“By encouraging parents to apply the valuable lessons learned from the program, the organization created sustainable gains and lasting improvements in the lives of Caraganon children. This strategic mindset underscored the belief that empowering parents with knowledge will contribute to the long-term success of the children as beneficiaries of the  program,” underscored Aranas.

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and the National Nutrition Council (NNC) Caraga guarantee that only nutritious food is served to the children during the feeding programs in the barangay. Photo by PIA-Caraga.

Meanwhile,  Dr. Niño Archie Labordo, the National Nutrition Council (NNC) Caraga head and regional nutrition program coordinator, expressed support to DSWD, as this also formed part of the target of the Council in addressing malnutrition in the region.

“Supplementary feeding improves the nutritional and health status of malnourished pregnant and lactating mothers and moderately malnourished children in poor and food-insecure areas. Food aid is given as a nutrition supplement and is combined with training in good health, nutrition, and care practices,” relayed Labordo.

This initiative of the DSWD also supported the Philippine Plan of Action for Nutrition (PPAN) and National Dietary Supplementation Program (NDSP).

SFP is a visionary initiative as it provides additional nutritious meals to children 3-5 years old in the Child Development Center (CDC). These hot meals are served for five days within a week in designated feeding centers as a commitment to the overall well-being and future of the region's youngest members.

Aligned with other impactful DSWD programs such as the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program, Kapit Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services, and Sustainable Livelihood Program, the Supplementary Feeding Program actively contributed to the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal No. 1 - eradicating extreme poverty and hunger in the country. 

DSWD Caraga continues to address immediate needs through these integrated efforts for a brighter and more sustainable future. (JPG, PIA-Caraga, with a report from DSWD-Caraga)