Makati mayor launches nutrition program
Makati Mayor Abby Binay today led the launch of Project FEED (Food for Excellent Education and Development), a new initiative aimed to provide nutritious snacks for free to public elementary school students in the city.
The mayor said the program seeks to alleviate hunger and promote healthy eating habits among students, while easing the burden of parents who are struggling to make ends meet.
“As a mother myself, I understand the demands of raising children and sending them to school. Through Project FEED, we are hitting two birds with one stone by helping parents with their children’s proper nourishment and enabling them to save for other basic needs,” Mayor Abby said.
The mayor demonstrated to students of Makati Elementary School how they can access a variety of snack foods and drinks from a vending machine using a tap card. She said each student will be given a tap card to get one snack food per school day four times a week, and one fruit juice drink once a week.
The project will give some 42,024 students from Kinder to Grade 6 free access to a banana bar on Mondays, oatmeal choco chip cookie on Tuesdays, cheese muffin on Wednesdays, chocolate fudge brownie on Thursdays, and mixed fruit juice on Fridays.
“Project FEED promotes the consumption of nutrient-rich root crops and vegetables disguised as cookies and bread which are appealing to kids,” Mayor Abby said.
She said the snacks were created using Nutriflour developed by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST). Nutriflour is a blend of powders made from cassava, sweet potato, moringa/malunggay, squash, and monggo beans. For the juice drink, fresh fruits puree were mixed with vegetable extracts and stevia as natural sweetener. One variant combines pineapple, mango, carrots, and tomato juice, while the other combines pineapple, cucumber and calamansi juice.
The mayor also noted that providing healthy and delicious snacks to students can help ensure that they have the energy and nutrition needed to focus on their studies.
“We teamed up with the DOST for this project because we want our students to enjoy their snacks and look forward to eating them. We want them to be energized so that they can focus better on their studies,” Mayor Abby said.
The mayor said the city has allotted P235,000,000 for the project, which will cover all 25 public elementary schools in the city. One vending machine will be installed in each school, except for those with bigger populations. These are Comembo Elementary School with two vending machines, and Pembo Elementary School and Rizal Elementary School with three vending machines each.
Project FEED is the latest addition to the city’s Expanded Project FREE (Free Relevant and Excellent Education). During her administration, Mayor Abby has expanded it to include leather and rubber shoes, tumblers, socks, rain gear, dengue and hygiene kits, jackets, and Japan-inspired school bags and uniforms.
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