Supplemental Feeding Program
Since 2010, Volunteer for the Visayans (VFV) has conducted Nutrition Projects in numerous communities to help combat the undernourished status of Filipino preschool children in low income and disadvantaged rural and urban communities. At the same time, VFV has also implemented structured nutritional seminars and worked closely with local community officials to promote the importance of healthy nutrition.
To support the Nutrition Projects, the GoAbroad Foundation has established a Weekend Supplemental Feeding Program in one of VFV’s rural villages, Cangumbang. The Weekend Feeding Program supplies 75 to 100 children ages 2 to 18 with a healthy meal every Saturday.
The Philippines continues to suffer from a number of public health concerns that are related to poor nutrition and an absence of basic awareness about the importance of lifestyle choices. As a result a number of issues, such as chronic heart disease, diabetes, vitamin A deficiency, PEM and infant undernourishment, are rampant in communities that are not educated on the importance of a healthy diet nor the dangers associated with heightened sugar, salt or fat content. But more importantly, those that do receive health and nutrition education still lack the resources to purchase healthy food and provide enough for their family daily.
The parents of children who participate in the program are rice farmers in the surrounding community and often struggle between harvest times to provide enough food for their children, not to mention the entire village of Cangumbang is prone to flooding during heavy rain. The village is often confronted with knee deep water, but waist deep flooding and floods over 10 feet tall happen semi-annually as well, which often causes family to lose their source of income, food supply, and general property.
The Weekend Supplemental Feeding Program was informally established following Typhoon Haiyan in November 2013, out of pure necessity for the children’s survival, and it continued from June 2014 to present thanks to the efforts of a student group in the U.S., Hope for Haiyan.