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How to Start a Children’s Feeding Program


Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 15:10:00 05/29/2010

Filed Under: Children, Education, Food, Charity

17 ways to recreate the miracle of loaves and fishes

1. Identify your source of funds. Talk to people, family members, friends, colleagues and others who you think can help. Get pledges and accept donations.

2. Estimate feeding cost. Usually P500-P700 will feed 100 children at one time. Remember you are providing a supplement to, and not a replacement for their regular meals.

3. Identify the school where you want to conduct the program. For better impact, select a poor or depressed community.

4. Confer with school nurses, who are usually from the City Schools or Department of Education (DepEd). They have a yearly census of the entire grade school population that identifies who are underweight and undernourished.

5. When you have the exact number of children you need to feed, you can now compute the monthly budget you need. It is good to have a headstart of at least three months? budget.

6. Coordinate with the school administration to meet with representatives from the parents and teachers associations, the barangay, and the school nurses so that the whole community gets involved. Organize them so that tasks and responsibilities are fairly distributed. You need a chairman (that might rightfully be you), an executive officer (usually the principal), secretary (usually the nurse), a treasurer who is best chosen from among the teachers (someone whom everyone trusts, comes to school regularly and is always available, and gets along well with everybody).

7. Set a date for mass deworming during which a general PTA meeting can be called to explain the program and a DepEd nutritionist or dietician can talk about nutrition and locally available nutrients, as well as food preparation.

8. Agree on the menu to be served. Have as many as possible that can be rotated to suit the children?s taste. Pay attention to nutritional content, presentation and volume of serving. It is good to have a calendared menu for the entire month.

9. Get volunteers from the community to prepare and serve the food on rotation basis. Usually parents are more than happy to do this. This also stimulates volunteerism and the bayanihan spirit. Food preparation and serving can be supervised by the Home Economics teacher.

10. Provide plates or bowls and utensils or ask the children to bring theirs; see to it that they are clean.

11. Decide on your first feeding day. The school must have a place where the children can be fed. The children enrolled in the program are ushered to the feeding area by the teachers during recess period. There they learn the values of orderliness, patience, cleanliness, saying grace and thanking God for the blessing. Hopefully, they will carry all these with them when they grow up.

12. Have a regular monitoring of the children?s weight in the school. It is best to do it monthly to monitor their progress.

13. Supplementation with vitamins and other fortifying nutrients is good and can be given regularly if possible.

14. Find out if you can correlate nutritional improvement with academic performance.

15. Keep all records of the participating children for future analysis.

16. Have regular nutrition education sessions for all parents and teachers.

17. Remember your donors and all the people working with you.

Noel B. Carilo, MD


Copyright 2014 Philippine Daily Inquirer. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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