By Anne Hazel Fajardo-Flores
SAN FERNANDO CITY, May 12 (PIA)- With an end goal to raise awareness on fighting poverty and addressing hunger, the city government of San Fernando has partnered with several groups for a noble cause recently.
The activity dubbed as “End Hunger Summit” gathered different organizations and government agencies from Manila, La Union, Nueva Ecija, Zambales, and Isabela to launch a feeding program targeting malnourished children in this city.
“We are happy to host this ‘End Hunger Summit’ because we believe that the city can one day be a showcase of development initiatives and people empowerment.” said City Mayor Hermenegildo A. Gualberto in his welcome speech.
In the summit, Kusina ng Kalinga (KnK), a soup kitchen and anti-poverty campaign project of Gawad Kalinga was introduced and will be implemented in nine selected barangays where highest rate of malnutrition was identified.
Gualberto added, “It is my hope that the establishment of Kusina ng Kalinga, our people, especially the city government will revive the bayanihan (Filipino tradition of cooperative undertaking) or walang iwanan (no one will be left behind) spirit.”
Villages that will be benefitted by the program are Bangbangolan, Baraoas, Cadaclan, Masicong, Pao, Puspus, Bungro, Nagyubuyuban and Sacyud.
A total of 1,522 wasted and severely wasted elementary pupils from the said schools or 12 percent of the total number of malnourished students in the city will be fed on a daily basis.
The centralized kitchen shall be located in Barangay Bangbangolan.
“Ay, napakanda naman po ng programa na iyan! (Wow! That’s a very helpful program)” Teacher Araceli Nisperos of Bangbangolan Elementary School said after she learned about the program.
She also shared that only a few students in their school can afford to eat regular meals because their mothers have nothing to cook for breakfast or even lunch.
When informed, Noemi Nisperos, a 10-year old and incoming grade six student, happily said, “Everyday, adda pang-lunch mi.” (We will have lunch everyday.)
The program, which is aimed to roll out in June, will be funded by the city government. A technical monitoring staff will be provided by the Gawad Kalinga.
The summit was spearheaded by the city government of San Fernando, La Union in partnership with Gawad Kalinga, Synergeia Foundation, Ateneo de Manila University, Jollibee Foundation, and the Department of Education (DepEd).
Some of these partners also provided resource speakers who talked about the different methods in addressing hunger and shared stories of volunteer impact and changes in fighting against poverty.
The event culminated with a planning session to discuss further the implementation and smooth execution of the program. (JNPD/ AHFF/ PIA-1)