DOST Davao, DepED, and LGU Mati Jointly Combat Malnutrition Through School-Based Feeding Program

by Ellon Labana

To combat malnutrition and support the school-based feeding program, the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) through the Provincial S&T Office in Davao Oriental (PSTO Davao Oriental), in collaboration with the Department of Education and the LGU of Mati, has launched a new initiative featuring carrot-banana loaf bread. 

This nutritious bread will be a key component of the School-Based Feeding Program (SBFP) Central Kitchen, targeting daycare learners and malnourished elementary students in the City of Mati.

The carrot-banana loaf bread is produced by the Central Kitchen using equipment provided by DOST XI through the Community Empowerment through Science and Technology (CEST) Program. This initiative highlights the concerted efforts to address child malnutrition by leveraging technological interventions and local resources.

The Central Kitchen, which operated at full capacity from 2018 to 2020, was repurposed as a storage area during the pandemic, holding nutritious products like enhanced nutribun, fortified bread, iron-fortified rice, and cereal mixed drinks. Since September 2023, the SBFP has been providing iron-fortified rice porridge or hot meals every Friday to daycare learners. Now, with support from the LGU Mati and DOST, the kitchen is producing carrot-banana loaf bread.

The SBFP Central Kitchen’s “Kusina ni Nanay, Alagang Matibay,” program has been actively serving eight daycare schools, including one lead school and seven satellite schools in Mati, for the past two weeks. This program aims to improve the nutritional status of undernourished learners through a 115-day feeding regimen.

The PSTO Davao Oriental has also provided various technological interventions, including training for potential livelihood opportunities. PSTO Davao Oriental will also conduct Good Manufacturing Practices training to enhance production and ensure food safety.

Ms. Fritzie Aparra, SBFP Coordinator, emphasized the program’s goals.

“With DOST’s help through technology training, we aim to introduce new products like Banana Chips, Puto Cheese, and Cassava Flour for Kutchinta Making to our feeding program, further diversifying our nutritional offerings,” she said. 

Meanwhile, the DOST Davao Regional Director, Dr. Anthony Sales said that the initiative intensifies DOST’s commitment to combat malnutrition across the Davao Region using Science and Technology. 

“Through collaborative efforts, we hope to improve the nutritional well-being of children in the City of Mati. We will continue to provide the necessary technological and training interventions to ensure the success of this program,” Dr. Sales added.

This initiative, falling under the CEST Program Entry Point – Health and Nutrition, is crucial in combating malnutrition among vulnerable children in the City of Mati. It ensures they receive the nutrition for their valued learning during their formative years. 

Written by Vener Zygmond Rebuelta and Vincent Jay Padillo

You may also like