Program: Health And Nutrition

One hundred (120) severely malnourished children from four elementary schools in Batangas will have normal weights before they go on vacation next year. These children are the recipients of the Pasiglahin ang Estudyanteng Pinoy (PEP) Feeding Program, a partnership program initiated by the Kabisig ng Kalahi, National Competitiveness Council, and the Department of Education with funding assistance from Unilever Philippines and Rotary Club of Makati, the E. Zobel Foundation as the local implementor and Mead Johnsons Nutritionals as the donor of milk supplements. Balibago and Talisay Elementary Schools in Calatagan and Gregorio Agoncillo and Gregorio Paradero Elementary Schools in Tuy are carefully chosen as this year’s beneficiaries based on the high prevalence of malnutrition in the said schools. The PEP will run for 120 feeding days, where low-cost but highly nutritious hot meals prepared by the parents are given to the beneficiaries during lunch break, supplemented by a warm glass of milk aptly offered at recess time. Improving the health status of the underweighted children is the primary objective of the program which will eventually lead to optimal academic performance and eventual reduction of absenteeism and drop out. It is not only the children who grow with the program but also their parents as values formation and enrichment activities are provided by the local implementor and other community partners on a regular basis. The parents are taught on the value of proper nutrition, effective parenting and child rearing, children’s rights, among others. At the end of the six months feeding, the children beneficiaries are expected to never again experience malnutrition as they are now trained to eat variety of balanced meals and their parents empowered, as well, to only prepare low-cost but nutritionally-rich food on the family dinner table.