MANILA -- A dinner of boiled saba, rice porridge, and cornmeal was served to corporate executives, government officials, and representatives of various organizations at the launch of the United for Healthier Kids website at Green Sun in Makati on Wednesday.
This gave them an idea of the typical meal of approximately seven million Filipino children who are suffering from malnutrition -- a problem that millions of Filipino households continue to experience.
For Senator Grace Poe, this growing national crisis continues to block Filipino children from achieving their full potential since they lack the nourishment and energy they need to stay active and do well in school.
"We must collectively work together to take care of our children and ensure that they are able to take advantage of the opportunities presented to them," Poe, who also partook of the simple dinner, said in a speech.
This is why Nestlé Philippines continues to support the United for Healthier Kids program along with their partner organizations.
“For the Philippines to combat malnutrition and achieve its full potential, we need to adopt a more systemic approach to reducing hunger and malnutrition. We need to bring together organizations with expertise in various subjects, from access to food, nutrition education, water, sanitation, and hygiene, to nutrition in disaster," said Jacques Reber, chairman and CEO of Nestlé Philippines.
Reber also highlighted the crucial role that the youth play in generating ideas that will help the country in combating malnutrition and ensuring that its citizens can "lead prosperous and healthy lives."
For his part, Nestlé Philippines senior vice-president for communication, marketing, and innovation Paolo Mercado said that the youth can play a major role in disseminating the advocacy through digital platforms like social media.
He added that with strong commitment from private organizations and consistent participation from the youth, the Philippines is not too far from becoming a better country for children.
“A challenge as big as malnutrition is not the responsibility of just one sector of society. Businesses have the resources and technical knowledge to help address malnutrition,” he added. “The possibilities for interventions from the private sector are vast—from employee engagement and collaboration with communities to re-imagining more inclusive supply chains and supporting technological innovations to address access to food and the quality of food on the dining tables of Filipino families."
In line with this, Nestle Philippines and its partner organizations, such as ABS-CBN and the Food and Nutrition Research Institute, have work hand in hand to launch the United for Healthier Kids website (www.u4hk.ph), which aims to spread awareness and spread the call for volunteerism in the country. Other contributors and partner organizations include Project Pearls, Reach Out and Feed Philippines, Children’s Mission Philippines, Children’s Joy Foundation Inc., Children’s Hour, Philippine Red Cross, Waves for Water, and Virlanie Foundation.
The U4HK website contains relevant data about malnutrition, such as a heat map that shows malnutrition incidence per region. The portal also shows the different efforts undertaken by Nestle Philippines and its partner organizations to fight malnutrition, including a list of initiatives that they plan to implement over the next couple of months.
This website also gives information on how people can donate, volunteer, or share. To learn more about this advocacy, click here.
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