DSWD’S FEEDING PROGRAM SERVES 192K IN WEST VISAYAS
SUPPLEMENTAL FEEDING. Diana Alcantara, focal person for Supplementary Feeding Program of the Department of Social Welfare and Development, reported on Friday (November 9, 2018) they were able to serve 192, 927 children in Western Visayas this 2018. (Photo by Cindy Ferrer)
ILOILO CITY -- Some 192,927 children in Western Visayas have benefited from the 120-day Supplementary Feeding Program (SFP) implemented by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) this year to improve the nutritional status of schoolchildren.
In an interview Friday, Diana Alcantara, DSWD’s focal person for SFP, said they have spent PHP254.6 million for children’s food under the Supervised Neighborhood Play (SNP) for children aged two to four years old; and children enrolled in the Child Development Centers or Day Care Centers in the region, aged two to five years old.
This year, the province of Negros Occidental recorded the highest number of beneficiaries with 73,033 children amounting to PHP96.3 million. Iloilo followed with 61,317 children, PHP80.9 million; Antique with 21,687 children, PHP28.6 million; Capiz with 18,835 children, PHP24.8 million; Aklan with 13, 336 children, PHP17.6 million; and Guimaras with 4, 749 beneficiaries amounting to PHP6.2 million.
“It really helped a lot in solving the problem on malnutrition among the children, especially those who are poor and in far-flung areas,” Alcantara said.
She noted that some children usually do not have the appetite to eat but are encouraged when they are served food in schools, together with their fellow children. Likewise, parents who prepare the food for the children also benefit in terms of learning what nutritious food to serve, not only for the program but also in their homes.
The SFP, which provides food in addition to regular meals, is also part of the DSWD’s contribution to the Early Childhood Care and Development (ECCD) program.
The food supplement for the schoolchildren includes hot meals served during break time in the morning or in the afternoon. This year’s SFP coincided with the start of classes in June.
Alcantara expressed hope that many more children would benefit from next year’s SFP.