Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Freedom from want

This July is National Nutrition Month and the theme is “Gutom at malnutrisyon, sama-sama nating wakasan.” Time to flag everyone's concern about hunger and malnutrition especially among the helpless young.

Government, NGOs, companies with a conscience, concerned individuals - - they meet regularly and implement community-support projects. We admire and respect them for acting.

But will this lead to ending global hunger, especially here where most Filipinos consider themselves 'mahirap'?

In a 2012 SWS poll, 54 percent of Pinoys (or some 10.9 million families) claim to be poor. In depressed communities, a poor family consists of six members. Six hungry mouths per family, even while this sounds too emo. 

A poverty statistics report said that a family of five needed P4,869 monthly income to meet the basic food needs and P7,017 to stay out of poverty. 
It's easy to say that an information campaign on nutrition education is key to helping everyone get into the right mindset when feeding one's family. But how will that help 'yung sobrang mahirap' who are more familiar with food insecurity than other day-to-day concerns?

Created in 1947 and having undergone restructuring and renaming through the years, the National Nutrition Council (bless them) - the highest policy-making and coordinating body on nutrition, has been carrying out priority livelihood and nutrition education programs.

Last July 2, the Philippines coalesced with the global SUN (Scaling Up Nutrition) Movement that is founded on the principle that everyone has the right to food and good nutrition. Signing up with SUN - thus joining other 40 countries - was the main point of the NNC's nutrition month launch. NNC has lined up other priority actions for this month, that includes a hunger concert and hunger summit.

NNC has a weekly nutrition radio program on DZXL where their guests give expert info on food production, food fortification, breastfeeding and healthy lifestyle behavior. Listen to them every Saturday, 12.30 p.m.

In our personal capacities, what can we do to reduce hunger and malnutrition?

Here are practical steps anyone of us can do at any given day to help break the daily vicious cycle of hunger and malnutrition for those we know in need of relief.
  • Create your own homeyard vegetable garden (and give some of your  fresh produce to a poor family you know)
  •  Avoid food wastage. Cook and eat just enough food. But if cooking too much can't be avoided, bigyan mo din kapitbahay na mahirap. Somehow this way, you give the family a break by effecting a sense of food security or food satisfaction, especially for the children.
  • On Facebook, ask your friends to help you put into action a donate-food-to-the-disadvantaged neighborhood project and turn over, as a group, the collected goods  to your beneficiaries. You can do this sans fanfare or have photos taken with your friends during the handover, blog about it, instagram it, whatever. The payoff here is you fed.
  • Donate money you can afford to food security programs in your community or to government-led projects.

It’s nice to do a good deed. 

No comments:

Search This Blog