Gov't eyes food packs for children in place of feeding programs

Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 22 2020 11:03 AM

Children line up for their daily free meal at a feeding program at the Baseco Compound in Manila, July 4, 2018. ABS-CBN News/file

MANILA-- The government is eyeing to provide food packs for malnourished children, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said on Monday as traditional feeding programs will not likely continue due to the persisting threat of COVID-19.

With the prohibition on face-to-face classes, Nograles said the government, through the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), might distribute food packs that contain vegetables, rice, and nutribuns instead of providing hot meals in schools.

"We may need to bring the program to the communities of these students to make it work," Nograles told reporters via teleconferencing.

Nograles, who chairs the government's task force against hunger, called on local government units to prioritize poor families with children in the provision of food rations to avoid stunting.

"The ongoing COVID-19 outbreak compels us to revisit government food security and nutrition programs as we now have to factor in the challenges brought about by this pandemic," he added.

The Cabinet official said the task force will coordinate with different government agencies to ensure that food programs continue to benefit poor and malnourished children.