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  • P6.4 Billion Allocated To Feed Undernourished Kids In Public Schools

    The primary beneficiaries are incoming kindergarten learners and grades one to six.
    by Darlene Estandarte .
P6.4 Billion Allocated To Feed Undernourished Kids In Public Schools
PHOTO BY Jerome Ascano
  • About Php6.4 billion has been allocated to feed undernourished students in public schools for the school year 2021-2022.

    The Department of Education (DepEd) launched the School-Based Feeding Program (SBFP) last September 8, 2021, during the "One Health Week" Facebook Live event for Oplan Kalusugan sa DepEd.

    The program's goal is to provide nutritious food products and pasteurized or sterilized milk to 3.1 million kids in more than 34,000 public schools nationwide this year.

    In the school year 2020-2021, DepEd surpassed its target of 1.7 million beneficiaries.

    “For 2021-2022, we are recommending to expand the supply of sterilized milk to identified far-flung areas and our products for Muslim learners should get Halal certification,” School Health Division chief Dr. Maria Corazon Dumlao said in a press release.

    The primary beneficiaries of the SBFP are incoming kindergarten learners and grades one to six "under the wasted and severely wasted category in the nutritional status report."

    According to the World Health Organization, a child wasted is someone who is "too thin for his or her height and is the result of recent rapid weight loss or the failure to gain weight."

    Secondary beneficiaries are the learners in last-mile schools defined by DepEd as:

    • with 100 enrollees and below
    • has less than four classrooms often makeshift
    • no electricity
    • no funds for repairs or new construction projects in the last four years
    • a travel distance of more than one hour away from the center, accessible only through difficult terrain.

    Other secondary beneficiaries are pupils-at-risk-of dropping-out (PARDOs), indigenous people (IP) learners, those coming from indigent families, and stunted learners identified in the SY 2019-2020 SBFP implementation.

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    The distribution process of goods will continue to follow the IATF’s health protocols.

    “With the help of our partners, we have been continuing our school-based feeding program despite school closures due to the pandemic. The food and milk packs have been distributed directly into the homes of the learners while in some areas, parents or guardians of the learners have been allowed to claim the weekly food pack rations along with the learning modules,” DepEd Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones said.

    DepEd via the Bureau of Learner Support Services is working with the Philippine Carabao Center (PCC), the National Dairy Authority (NDA), the Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI), and other local government units and enterprises to coordinate and monitor the policies for food and milk components ready for distribution.

    DepEd is also eyeing to partner with more farmer-cooperatives and SMEs to promote local agriculture.

    SBFP is mandated by the Republic Act 11037 also known as an Act Institutionalizing a National Feeding Program for Undernourished Children in Public Day Care of 2018.

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    Find here the DepEd school calendar for 2021-2022. 

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