Food lovers have more reason to eat for the next two months, and for a good cause, too. With the simple act of ordering select dishes from 40 (and counting) participating restaurants, you can help fight malnutrition in the country.
“Hidden hunger exists in children from six months to five years old. In the Philippines, about 300,000 kids are underweight while 3.4 million suffer from chronic malnutrition or stunting. And a Unicef study in 2015 showed that the Philippines ranked 9th in the world with the most number of stunted children,” said Javad Amoozegar, country director of the international NGO Action Against Hunger.
This means that one in three kids in the country suffers from malnutrition, which causes 45 percent of deaths among Filipino children under five years old. Action Against Hunger has helped address this problem by providing communities with access to safe water and sustainable solutions to hunger. In 2015 alone, the NGO has helped more than 500,000 people in the Philippines, including 30,000 who were assisted with nutrition programs.
The NGO has partnered with local restaurants and top chefs to mount the first Restaurants Against Hunger: Dishes That Feed More campaign in the country, which will run until Jan. 15, 2017. During this period, participating restaurants have identified a certain dish, a portion of the proceeds of which will fund programs to alleviate extreme malnutrition.
“This is more than just about eating out. This is about your own contribution to fight malnutrition,” said Dale Divinagracia, Action Against Hunger-Philippines fundraising manager.
“It is high time that we address this issue together and put up an advocacy that really encourages people to help fight malnutrition in their own ways – a simple act of ordering a dish can make a big difference,” added Amoogezar.
Restaurants have committed to donate at least P20 to as much as P70 for every order of their participating dishes.
“There is no such thing as a small donation. These will go a long way into helping our malnourished kids. This campaign has been very successful in other countries, and we expect the Philippine campaign to be even more successful,” Divinagracia said.
Chef Rolando Laudico, the campaign ambassador for the Philippines, said the advocacy made him realize that his craft goes beyond cooking.
“This transforms what I do into a stronger cause that enables use to make someone’s future healthy,” said Laudico, who joins other award-winning chefs, including three-time peer-voted Chef’s Choice awardee Joan Roca, across four continents where similar Restaurants Against Hunger campaigns are held.
“If it takes a village to raise a child, then it takes a community of restaurants, chefs and foodies to find solutions to end hunger. Through this campaign, it becomes meaningful to enlist your restaurants, and equally meaningful to eat in these restaurants. We just have to make every dish count,” added award-winning pastry chef Jacqueline Laudico.
The participating restaurants include 8 Cuts Burger Blends, Beni’s Falafel, Chelsea Grand Café, Chelsea Kitchen, Chotto Matte, Corazon, Crisostomo, Crying Tiger, Cyma, El Cabrito, El Chupacabra, El Corazon, Elias, Feast, Felix, Florabel, Green Pastures, Grilla Filipino Cuisine, Guevarra’s, Izakaya Sensu, Kabila, Manam, Melt Grilled Cheesery, Mexicali, Museum Café, OK Café, Ooma, Potts Point Cafe, Providore, Saboten, Señor Pollo, Simplé Lang, Stella and Rocket Room, Terraz Bistro, Terry’s Bistro, The Café Mediterranean, The Corner Tree Café, The Old Spaghetti, The Shrimp Shack, and Wild Ginger.
“They say that education is the great equalizer, but before that, there should be good nutrition,” said Action Against Hunger’s Dyan Rodriguez. “Many of the things that we need to do can wait, but our children cannot.”
Registration for restaurants interested to participate is open until Nov. 30. To register and get more information about the campaign, visit the website www.restaurantsagainsthungerphilippines.orgTo help spread the word on the campaign, use the hashtag #RestaurantsAgainstHungerPH.
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