Two villages in this city have been chosen as beneficiaries of a feeding program for school children initiated by non-profit organization Reach Out and Feed Philippines.

Barangay 10 and Barangay Mandalagan in this city are among the 10 new Project Baon sites identified for 2018.

The program is now ongoing in Barangay Mandalagan after the feeding location was launched last February 10. The children-beneficiaries are served with nutritious meal through the regular outreach program held on Saturdays.

Reach Out and Feed Philippines aims to help schoolchildren in selected areas get access to proper nutrition, citing the latest data from the Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI) showing that malnutrition among school age children is still prevalent in many regions in the country.

Western Visayas, where Bacolod is situated, has a malnutrition rate of 38.9 percent among schoolchildren.

Reach Out and Feed Philippines founder Dawn Cabigon said malnutrition impacts communities across the country, urban and rural alike, adding that when they saw the malnutrition heat map based on FNRI data, they wanted to help communities address malnutrition and address their unique needs.

“We wanted to bring Project Baon to more barangays, sitios, and cities in the Philippines,” Cabigon added.

Project Baon provides undernourished Filipino children aged five to 12 years old with supplementary school meals comprised of a packed lunch with fortified rice, meat, vegetables, and fruits, prepared specifically to meet their nutritional needs.

Cabigon noted that feeding programs become more important towards the end of the school year and contribute to a child’s health school performance.

Reach Out and Feed Philippines is one of the contributing non-profit organizations under the United for Healthier Kids program, an advocacy program initiated by Nestlé Philippines which rallies support to impact malnutrition in four key areas, including access to food, nutrition education, nutrition in disaster, and water, sanitation and hygiene.

The program engages individuals, civil society organizations, and businesses to assist U4HK partner NGOs through volunteerism and donation. (PNA)