In the Philippines, particularly in poor districts, a lot of children go to school with an empty stomach. Many of these kids still wish to go to school even if they are hungry, in hopes that they can learn something and eventually fulfill their dreams.
Photo credit: Philippine History and Architecture – Facebook / Virtual Pinoy
Growing up as a poor kid himself, Manila Mayor-elect Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso wants to bring back the nutribun and milk through a feeding program, particularly in elementary schools under his jurisdiction. Under this feeding program, the government will provide nutritious food for students from Grades 1 to 6, to ensure that no kid will ever be hungry in school.
“Marami sa mga mag-aaral natin na pumapasok sa paaralan na walang laman ang tiyan at gutom, dala na rin siguro ng hirap ng buhay. Alam ko po ang pakiramdam na iyon sapagkat isa rin po ako sa mga batang pumapasok na walang laman ang tiyan,” Mayor Isko said.
“Kaya po ang pangarap natin sa lungsod ng Maynila ay maibalik ang Nutribun at gatas sa loob ng paaralan.”
Photo credit: Isko Moreno Domagoso / Facebook
The mayor definitely knows what he’s talking about as he had a first-hand experience with going to school with an empty stomach.
In his elementary and high school days, Isko used to collect trash and various junk items in dumpsites for food and some extra cash. Thus, he easily understands the hardships of the poor families who have to send their children to school even if they didn’t have any breakfast and also don’t have anything for lunch.
“Noong araw, may programa ang gobyerno kung saan tinutugnunan ang nutrisyon ng mga kabataan sa loob ng paaralan. Kaya po ang pangarap natin sa lungsod ng Maynila ay maibalik ang Nutribun at gatas sa loob ng paaralan,” Isko explained.
He is referring to the Nutribun program that came from the aid sent by America to the Philippines, with the aim of helping alleviate malnutrition in the country. The program started during the Marcos regime in the 1970s, with the nutribun and milk given to students before classes start.
Photo credit: Esquire Mag
The program was eventually phased out in the mid-1980s when malnutrition rates became low.
Nutribun was designed as a “ready-to-eat complete meal” that was convenient for public elementary school feeding programs. The revival of the nutribun and milk feeding program will certainly help combat child malnutrition and ensure that no kid will ever be hungry in school…