To help address the problem of hunger and malnutrition of a growing number of public school children in Norzagaray, Bulacan and Echague,Isabela, Bayer Fund partners with Gawad Kalinga to build feeding kitchens in the said areas. The central kitchens are expected to produce up to 3,000 vegetable-based meals daily which can help address the hunger and malnutrition of at least 3,000 students.
“It is important that our school children are not hungry when they attend school so that they can concentrate better on their studies,” said Chat Garrido-Ocampo, Legacy Monsanto Corporate Affairs Head and acting focal person for Bayer Fund. “we expect that school attendance and performance will improve by doing this project and that’s how we can sustainably support public school children to fare better in life.
The feeding kitchens will be built and operated close to the schools and will provide at least 3,000 meals for 220 days. The kitchen will also use locally produced crops which will help local farmers and other small businesses.
‘We are very pleased to do another project with Gawad Kalinga which not only helps local farmers but would also involve school officials and parent volunteers who are encouraged to attend values formation and food education sessions. It is very inspiring that we are able to create shared value among the members of the community which ensures the project’s success and sustainability, Ocampo said.
Meantime, Mark Lawrence Cruz, GK Project Head, noted that GK usually gets support for producing meals but not for expanding or building kitchens to produce these meals. “We are happy that we are able to get support from Bayer Fund to build central kitchen facilities so we can expand and improve our operations and reach out to more school children who will exponentially benefit from this project,” Cruz said.
Bayer Fund and Gawad Kalinga will launch the project soon after classes start in June. (Estrella Z. Gallardo)