by: Cristina M. Belsonda
Teacher III, San Gregorio Elementary School
Malnutrition is a global issue which affects millions of children, thus hindering their ability to grow academically ang physically. Here in the Philippines, the Department of Education has started the school-based feeding program for the current school year as a proactive measure to address this issue. This initiative proves the dedication and commitment of the government to combat malnutrition among its learners and ensuring that every kid has access to a quality education.
Deped’s School-based Feeding Program aims to combat malnutrition among learners by providing nutritious meals learners who have been labeled as wasted and severely wasted in terms of nutrition. This will improve their nutritional status, strengthen their immune system, and end their hunger.
Additionally, DepEd aims to improve the attendance and academic performance of the learner beneficiaries. The department believes that students who eat well are more likely to attend class and take part in activities, thus allowing them to perform better academically.
In adherence to this, public schools are currently making an effort to provide the beneficiaries with wholesome meals that will last for 120 days to ensure a beneficial effect on beneficiaries’ nutritional health.
Along with nourishing meals, the program conducts health and nutrition education activities. These sessions aim to promote awareness about the importance good sanitation and proper hygiene. Before and after eating, they must wash their hands and say a prayer. In addition, students are being taught how to set up the tables, chairs, and eating utensils after meals. Furthermore, students are required to brush their teeth after meals.
This program encourages collaboration as well. Stakeholders are urged to assist in the implementation of the program by serving meals to the recipients.
The School-Based Feeding Program of DepEd is an illustration of how targeted interventions can fight hunger and enable Filipino pupils to realize their full potential. This effort helps to enhance not only the health but also the academic performance and increased attendance of at-risk pupils by addressing their dietary needs. As the program continues, it stands as a ray of hope for a healthier, more educated future for the youth of the Philippines.