by Antonio J. Supremido, Jr.
19 September, 2011 -San Fabian. The Hapag-Asa Integrated Nutrition Program was formally launched this 19th day September, 2011 at Longos Amangonan-Parac-Parac as the pilot barangay in the parish. The launching was inaugurated with the celebration of the Holy Mass presided over by Rev. Fr. Oliver E. Mendoza, the Parish Priest.
Integrated Nutrition Program
This Integrated Nutrition Program was initially launched in July 2005 by Pondo ng Pinoy Community Foundation headed by Archbishop Gaudencio B. Cardinal Rosales, Assisi Development Foundation and Feed the Children Philippines. This was already running in most parts in the country and has reached the Archdiocese of Lingayen-Dagupan with seven (7) parishes as the pilot areas and one of which is the Parish of Saint Fabian. This program is meant to develop the culture of sharing and loving among various stakeholders, to reduce malnutrition rate among children from 0-6 years old and to improve the capacity of parents to care and provide for basic needs of their children.
Nutrition, education, livelihood
The activity has three (3) program components: the supplemental feeding, the education of parents, and the skills and livelihood training of parents. The supplemental feeding is not meant to substitute the regular meals which the children get from their homes but rather is intended to complement the necessary meals so that they would acquire the required nutrients and vitamins necessary for them to grow strong and healthy. The parents are indispensable in the program. Their role is very crucial in the process. They are not only there to support the program but to see to it that the program is properly implemented and continued even after the feeding is finished. They are required to attend the parents’ education class. They are taught information on how to be effective and affective parents to their children. They are likewise given skills and livelihood training to support the financial needs of their families.
Malnourished Children, Underweight Pregnant, Breastfeeding Mothers
The target recipients are the malnourished children from 0-6 year old, underweight pregnant and breastfeeding mothers. The period of child’s development is up to 6 year old. The feeding is meant to address the lack or imbalance of nutrients in the body where they don’t usually get from regular meals. If it not addressed properly the physical, psychological, and emotional function of an individual is impaired. He/she is not capable of capable of maintaining adequate level of performance such as physical work, resistance to and recovers from illness. He/she is expected to have low literacy, lack of skills, and lack of concentration in school. So, what kind of people do we have to expect in the future?
Parents are also part of the feeding not just the children, especially the underweight pregnant and breastfeeding parents. We have to safeguard the health of parents so that we can assure the healthiness of the child they carry or breastfeed. The malnourished parents have the reduced capacity to care for the child much more they cannot give what are needed by their children in the process. This can be prevented by giving them nutritious food during their pregnancy or breastfeeding period. Again, the feeding is not meant to substitute the regular meals but as to compliment it.
There are 175 recipients in the program. There are 66 pregnant and breastfeeding mothers and the rest are children from 0-6 year old. At the end of each month, there will be evaluation if there will be an improvement in the physical, emotional and social condition of the children as well as mothers. At the end of six months, 120 days, we expect that our recipients attain the necessary objectives of the program.
Invitation to share
There are quite few parishioners who are willing to take share in the program. They’ve expressed to sponsor a couple of days of feeding by allocating certain amounts for ingredients and materials needed in cooking. But, to implement the program for six months takes a big sum of money to sustain it. We are extending our invitation to our generous and kindhearted fellow parishioners to help and take part in the program. We can never outdo God in His generosity. The amount we can share will surely given back to us by God a hundred times.
We would like also to express gratitude to the barangay council of Longos Amangonan Parac-Parac who has extended their support and assistance in the implementation and monitoring of the program and for deputizing the barangay health workers (BHW) in the identification of our target recipients.
(See also: “”Feeding our Future”)