Continuing its aim to improve and sustain the nutritional status of children enrolled in Community Day Care Centers (CDC), the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD)-Caraga has allocated PhP140, 529, 600 for this school year’s Supplementary Feeding Program (SFP).

With the implementation of the SFP, DSWD-Caraga targets to feed a total of 78, 072 children enrolled in 2, 122 Day Care Centers around the region this school year.

The said feeding program, which will be given five to seven days a week, uses indigenous and locally produced food in the barangays where the centers are erected. The food will be in form of hot meals that will be served to children during snack or meal time.

OIC Regional Director Mita Chuchi Gupana-Lim said that SFP is strengthened to lessen cases of malnutrition especially in far-flung barangays where poverty is evident.

“We may not be able to provide them with their basic meals every day, but this program is here as an augmentation support to improve the knowledge, attitude and practices of children and their parents and caregivers,” Lim added, emphasizing that the program is a form of advocacy for intensified nutrition and health education.

To monitor and document the program’s effectiveness, the children are weighed before and after 120 feeding days.

Last school year, 88.17% of SFP children beneficiaries were recorded to have improved their weight from severely underweight to underweight while 88.47% improved from underweight to normal.

“The figures show significant improvement of these children’s weight,” Lim said.

She added that aside from the weight results of CDC attendees, the program also gives enthusiasm to the children while learning inside the centers.

The SFP is DSWD’s contribution to the Early Childhood Care and Development Program of the government. ###(MIKE ARIEL P. PLAZA/Social Marketing Unit/DSWD Field Office Caraga)