In line with the government’s program promoting food production and nutrition, residents of Brgy. San Dionisio in Parañaque City will be participating in a vegetable growing contest that seeks to employ the skills that they have learned from a project called FRESH or “Making Food Go Further: Mitigating Hunger and Ensuring Future Resilience and Stronger Households (FRESH) in the Philippines” on July 12, 2010.
The project will be undertaken by Kraft Philippines and the Save The Children Foundation in collaboration with the Parañaque City Government Parañaque City Government through its Agriculture Office, Health Office and its Nutrition Division, Planning Office, Parañaque DSWD, Youth and Sports Development Office; San Dionisio and BF Homes Barangay Health Units; BF and San Dionisio Barangay Government Units; and the Department of Education Division of Parañaque City Schools.
FRESH was started in Parañaque and two other pilot provinces in June last year. From these three areas, the project is expected to reach out to some 50,000 most vulnerable children and families in the next three years to reduce hunger and malnutrition in the country.
Project activities are aimed at helping improve health and nutrition in children as well as provide necessary skills to older family members to sustain food security. According to the Save the Children Foundation, the contest is a means to jumpstart food production at home, school and community to address the nutritional requirement of children and their families and how far they are going to sustain it.
The contest will be divided into individual, group and school categories. Those in the individual category can plant their vegetables in any available space in their yard or homes while those in the group category will make their gardens in open public land designated by the San Dionisio Barangay Government Unit as school category can improve on their existing plots in their respective campuses with more volume and variety.
The contest will run from July to November 2010 and judging will be made in three phases: Phase 1 will be based on the variety of vegetables planted; their nutritional value; level of participation of members and use of organic fertilizers. Phase 2 will be based on the type of innovation, technology and materials used by participants including use of receptacles and recycled materials in planting and in schools, the use of these vegetables in supplemental feeding sorties. Phase 3 will be based on the commitment of the participants to sustain the project. It will also be a gauge to determine if they consumed what they raised and if they purchased the materials they needed or produced their own to sustain it.
“This project is not only a way for realizing money savings and food security but also a means to promote “eating vegetables for balanced diets” to combat malnutrition in children. It is our hope that after five months of working together and seeing the benefits of the project, the participants will continue to tend their vegetable gardens.” Parañaque City Mayor Jun Bernabe said. (Public Information Office)