Aiming to address the malnutrition of children in schools and those affected by the calamities, Vice President and Department of Education Secretary Sara Duterte launched recently the “Kalusugan Food Trucks” in a video report on her first 100 days in office.
The OVP’s “Kalusugan Food Trucks” is a stepping stone of the current administration to fight hunger among students in the Philippines, in partnership with DepEd and the Department of Health through the National Nutrition Council.
“The Kalusugan Food Trucks will be deployed in target areas for 120 days, completing the cycle in which a child’s nutrition is adequately addressed,” the Vice President said.
In 2020, former President Rodrigo Duterte signed Executive Order No. 101, or the Inter-Agency Task Force on Zero Hunger, which aimed to achieve food security while also addressing the issue of hunger in the Philippines.
The Task Force Zero Hunger participated in the multi-sectoral movement “Pilipinas Kontra Gutom”, together with other groups, non-profit organizations, and private corporations as they eyed the eradication of hunger and malnutrition in the country by 2030.
The program also prioritized the giving of food assistance and security during times of disasters and pandemic.
Two years after the creation of the task force, it has implemented various programs including the “Gulayan sa Barangay at sa Pamayanan” project, and the “Kasapatan at Ugnayan ng Mamamayan sa Akmang Pagkain at Nutrisyon” (KUMAIN) webinar series.
“We’ve faced typhoons, natural disasters, and other calamities on top of the continuing scourge of COVID-19. Despite these, we were able to tackle the nutrition and food concerns of our countrymen, particularly in affected areas,” former cabinet secretary Karlo Nograles said during the second-anniversary event of the Zero Hunger Task Force in January.
Other organizations and companies in the private and non-governmental sectors such as the Century Pacific Group and the Gawad Kalinga Community Development Foundation have also formed a coalition called the “Zero Hunger Alliance”, with the plan to provide 10 million meals to underserved communities nationwide.
Officially launched last month, the initiative was derived from Century’s “Kain Po” feeding program, which serves protein meals to school-age children from vulnerable communities across the country. It has delivered over 45 million servings since it was introduced in 2010.
“To make a dent in combating hunger and malnutrition, we recognize that we need more partners, who can lend a hand. We need to craft holistic and sustainable solutions if we want to bring long-lasting change,” Century Pacific Group RSPo Foundation program director Kamille Corpuz said.
Senate Bill 30, or the “Right to Adequate Food Act”, was filed in July this year with the aim of ensuring zero hunger within 10 years by reducing hunger incidence by 25 percent every two and a half years. A similar measure was also pushed in the House of Representatives.
According to the latest Social Weather Stations survey, 11.6 percent of Filipino families, or an estimated 2.9 million experienced involuntary hunger in the second quarter of 2022 alone, with some 546,000 suffering from severe hunger.
The Philippines also ranked 68th out of 116 countries in the 2021 Global Hunger Index, which said the country is suffering from a “moderate” lack of access to food.