GMA Kapuso Foundation Inc. and Odyssey Foundation Inc., the corporate social responsibility arm of food conglomerate Foodsphere Inc., are celebrating 12 years of partnership that has nurtured the lives of more than 4,500 undernourished Filipino children.
The two foundations teamed up in 2007 to undertake the Give-A-Gift: Feed A Child feeding program where they serve nutritious meals to undernourished children across the country. They launched a feeding program in Ternate, Cavite on March 15 to Aug.t 28, 2007 that helped restore the health of 477 previously undernourished kids. Since then, they have assisted more than 4,000 others in different areas across the country.
“GMA Kapuso Foundation and CDO/Odyssey’s strong partnership over the years is helping address the problem of malnutrition through our annual Give-A-Gift: Feed A Child feeding program. For 12 years, we have served thousands of children in remote areas of our country who need help. We are able to serve nutritious meals and share the mission of alleviating poverty and fighting malnutrition, together,” said Luz Annalee Escudero-Catibog, vice president and COO of GMAKFI.
OFI president Jerome Ong said Gabay Nutrisyon, the foundation’s major initiative, is a community-based supplemental feeding program which focuses on addressing child hunger and malnutrition in chosen communities.
“Developing this program was the first step of the foundation in fulfilling its mission to give back to the community. By providing nutritious food and vitamins to targeted beneficiaries, the foundation aims to restore to normal weight status the underweight children enrolled in the program,” said Ong, who is also the president and chief executive of CDO Foodsphere Inc.
“Aside from this, the program seeks to improve the knowledge, attitudes and practices of mothers and child caregivers regarding key nutritional practices through health and nutrition lectures provided by health workers and nutrition scholars,” he said.
Ong said the partnership with GMAKFI aims to address the serious problem of child malnutrition in the country. Based on Food and Nutrition Research Institute data, the Philippine chronic malnutrition rate among children aged 0 to 2 reached 26.2 percent in 2015, the highest in 10 years.
Studies show that the first 1,000 days of a child’s life is a crucial period when the child must receive optimum nutrition. If not achieved, the effects of malnutrition will be irreversible.
OFI said this is the reason why it focuses on hunger mitigation as its foremost advocacy. OFI is actively implementing Gabay Nutrisyon supplemental feeding program to provide nourishment to children and enable them to reach their fullest potential.
Under the project, nutrition advocacy interventions are conducted. At the end of the feeding program, the children are expected to have reached their normal nutritional status and their families have gained a better understanding of health and nutrition practices that will equip them to sustain a healthy lifestyle.
OFI envisions a hunger-free society especially among children. To widen its impact, the foundation teams up with different organizations with the same advocacy.
In the past 12 years, OFI has been working hand-in-hand with GMAKFI to alleviate hunger among school-aged children from areas where malnutrition is rampant.
“With this partnership, we aim to extend assistance to children in the far-flung provinces in need of nutrition,” OFI said.
The partnership has already helped more than 4,500 children in Ternate, Cavite;Valenzuela City; Pateros; San Jose del Monte City; Fairview, Quezon City; Pililia, Rizal; Urbiztondo, Pangasinan; Narvacan, Ilocos Sur; Basey, Samar;Jaro, Iloilo; Malilipot, Albay; Dona Remedios Trinidad, Pangasinan; Presentacion, Camarines Sur; and Danglas, Abra.
The two foundations are currently undertaking a feeding program in Baco, Occidental Mindoro where more than 300 undernourished children receive nutritious meals and vitamins.
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