By Leilani S. Junio
MANILA, June 28 (PNA) — The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) said that it is targeting for this year to serve a total of 2,568,811 children nationwide in its Supplementary Feeding Program (SFP).
According to DSWD Secretary Corazon J. Soliman, for this year, more children enrolled in day care centers or registered in Supervised Neighborhood Play (SNP) will take part in the SFP to ensure that their nutritional needs are met.
Children in SNP are those who are 2-4 years old toddlers and the rest of those in the daycare centers aged 4 to 5 years old.
SFP is a program of DSWD that augments the feeding program in LGU-managed daycare centers and SNP areas.
For this year it has a budget of P4.32 billion.
This budget almost doubled for the budget downloaded last year (2014) which was only P2.68 billion.
SFP utilized indigenous food/locally-produced food equivalent to 1/3 of the Recommended Energy and Nutrient Intake (RENI).
The locally produced food by the farmers are paid by DSWD and are being served as hot meals during break/snack time in the morning and afternoon classes so that children will gain proper nutrition and have increased weight and height as a result.
“It helps in improving also the knowledge, attitude and practices of parents and caregivers because they are encouraged to practice the same in their home as they realized the value of feeding their children with nutritious but affordable meals for their children,” Sec. Soliman said.
The children at the same time are encouraged to be active and endure the activities in school because of the energy they gained from the hot meal.
The parents of the children are being involved in the program as they are the ones who are assigned with the nutritionist to prepare the meal cycle.
At the start of the feeding program the children are being weighed.
Three months thereafter they are being weighed again.
The feeding program will be completed after a period of 120 days.
After that period the children will be weighed again to determine the improvement and sustenance in the nutritional status of the beneficiaries.
In 2014, a total of 1,696,194 daycare children benefited from the program.(PNA)