Jollibee Group Foundation (JGF), in partnership with the Department of Education (DepEd) and the Local Government Unit (LGU) of Capas, Tarlac launched the Busog, Lusog, Talino (BLT) Kitchen for School Feeding, a pilot initiative that supports the implementation of DepEd’s School-Based Feeding Program (SBFP).
JGF established the BLT Kitchen in Capas Gabaldon Elementary School and provided standards on food production, safety and cleanliness. The model aims to ensure the preparation of safe and quality food with less time and effort. Through the BLT Kitchen, the school, together with parent volunteers, prepare meals and allocate portions for distribution to four other schools in Capas enabling them to serve more than 600 pupils in four (4) hours.
Speaking at the BLT Kitchen Launch and Commitment Signing on October 23, 2015, DepEd Undersecretary Mario Deriquito said that their agency is currently assessing different implementation models for the nationwide coverage of its SBFP.
“From 2013 to 2015, SBFP has grown about 30 times. Next year, we are expecting the program to increase further to about 60% so that the program will cover all severely wasted and wasted pupils in all public elementary schools nationwide,” said Deriquito. “The BLT Kitchen located in one school that will serve the needs of four other schools is a good model that will help the Department of Education make the feeding program more effective,” he added.
Ensuring safe and quality food
Food safety and cleanliness has been a major component of the BLT Program since it started in 2007. According to the school principal, Mrs. Nimfa de Guzman, all parent volunteers underwent food safety seminars and medical exams before the start of the program. “Dapat naka complete uniform sila. Meron silang hairnet, apron, gloves, at saka tamang footwear. Meron din mga quality standards na naka-post na dapat sinusunod.”
“Naglilinis kami bago magsimula magluto” said Alma Yuson, one of the 11 parent volunteers. “Hinuhugasan namin lahat ng mga sangkap bago magluto.”
“Para sa akin, mas madali ito kaysa sa iba’t-ibang eskwelahan nanggagaling yung pagkain para isahan na lang ang pagluto,” said head cook Elma Capil. “May supplier na nagdadala ng mga kailangan lutuin dito kaya hindi na kami namamalengke.”
A Public-Private Partnership Model
DepEd Schools Division Superintendent of Tarlac, Dr. May Batenga Eclar noted that the approach demonstrates effective inter-agency collaboration in the most cost efficient manner. While JGF’s support is the establishment of the kitchen facility and putting the kitchen system in place, the schools are responsible for overseeing daily feeding operations. Meanwhile, funds for feeding come from the DepEd SBFP budget. The LGU of Capas provides the medical exam for parents and the transportation requirements for the delivery of cooked food to four recipient schools.
“The pooling of talents, expertise, and resources from each member of the community will ensure that the objective of SBFP, that is to improve the health condition of our identified school children, is achieved,” said Eclar.
Feeding the future
Hon. Victor A. Yap, Governor of the Province of Tarlac, committed to allocate funds for the replication of this approach to school feeding.
“Before our term ends, we would like to ensure that Tarlac will be one of the first provinces where the central kitchen model is applied province-wide. We are willing to allocate Php 5 million from our funds for the development of the BLT kitchen approach in all municipalities of Tarlac,” announced Gov. Yap.
With the help of the local government, Gov. Yap also promised to incentivize home-based feeding programs to ensure that hunger is addressed at home beyond the days covered by the school feeding.
JGF President Grace Tan Caktiong expressed her gratitude to DepEd for undertaking a massive school feeding program that will address hunger and malnutrition among public school pupils across the country.
“From JGF’s years of supporting more than 1,500 schools nationwide through BLT, we are deeply pleased to witness the nationwide government support for school feeding.” said M’ Grace.
On behalf of JGF and Jollibee Foods Corporation (JFC), M’ Grace pledged continued support for the public-private partnership with DepEd.
“When we proposed the BLT Kitchen model, our objective was to put in place the structures and systems we have learned from JFC and from BLT over the years to facilitate effective SBFP implementation. With this pilot, we hope to gather our learnings and determine the feasibility of this model in helping SBFP achieve its goals,” concluded M’ Grace.
Click here to see how the BLT Kitchen works!
For the first time in the Municipality of Geronain Tarlac, all undernourished public elementary school pupils will have added incentive to come to school every day – a hearty and nutritious lunch! This milestone is made possible through the combined efforts of the Local Government Unit (LGU) of Gerona, the Department of Education (DepEd) and Jollibee Group Foundation (JGF).
According to Dr. Aileen Mangahas from the Tarlac Division of DepEd, the coordinated efforts will ensure that more pupils can stay in school and learn better.
“This school year 2015-2016, in the Municipality of Gerona, 2,019 pupils out of the 11,518 enrollees from its 44 public elementary schools, or 18% are undernourished. But because of the partnership of the LGU, DepEd, and JGF, a lunch meal everyday for each of the 2,019 pupils has been made possible,” said Mangahas.
JGF has adopted 13 schools under the Busog, Lusog, Talino School Feeding Program with counterpart funding from the LGU, while DepEd will be servicing 31 schools in the municipality through its School-Based Feeding Program. Both programs aim to improve the nutritional status of undernourished public elementary pupils through systematic and effective in-school feeding, over a 120-day feeding cycle.
Partnerships and community participation was a central theme throughout the activity.
Hon. Dennis Norman Go, Mayor of Gerona, Tarlac, encouraged all stakeholders, particularly parents, to get involved as they would serve the key to improve the children’s health situation.
JGF Executive Director Gisela Tiongson noted that the activities are part of an integrated program that the municipality is putting together to ensure that the right kind of services are given to pupils in need.
“As they say, it takes a village to raise a child. This kind of work will not be heavy if everyone in the community helps out in their own little way,” said Tiongson.
This Municipal-wide School Feeding Program was launched as part of Gerona’s Nutrition Month celebration in July at the Gerona North Central Elementary School. After the launching event, JGF and DepEd conducted an orientation for all the school principals and feeding coordinators on food safety and cleanliness, and community participation. This aims to help schools make sure that they consistently serve nutritious and safe food, and that they work with the different members of the community to implement the feeding activities.
Agboy Elementary School in Leon, Iloilo was named the Grand Winner of the 2015 Busog, Lusog, Talino (BLT) Excellence Awards topping entries from across the country. The school was honored for exceeding the BLT standards for food safety and quality, and its innovative approaches to working with the community to sustain the program.
Ms. Yolanda Peniero, the school Principal believes their collaboration with stakeholders was instrumental to their success. Parents, teachers, students, and the broader community were mobilized to contribute their skills and resources. They also launched the Piso Mo, Igma Ko (Your Peso, My Lunch) coin banks which were placed throughout the municipality.
For Feeding Coordinator Gemma Espana, transparency and accountability enabled them to earn the trust of their partners. “Our stakeholders – the LGU, barangay captain and barangay council, give monthly contributions. I list down whatever they give, and post it on the school board for transparency”, reported Ms. Espana.
Ms. Peniero noted the importance of the award they have received. “This award serves as our motivation in continuing the best practices that we have started. Let’s continue to serve our children and give our best in championing their health and education,” Paniero said.
Jollibee Group Foundation (JGF) recognized schools that showed exemplary performance in implementing the Foundation’s Busog, Lusog, Talino (BLT) School Feeding Program through the BLT Excellence Awards. The BLT Program aims to keep undernourished pupils in public schools by providing lunch daily. The awards were handed out to winning schools on Monday, May 4, 2015 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Ortigas, Pasig City during the Foundation’s 10th Anniversary Celebration.
Tony Tan Caktiong, Chairman of JGF and Jollibee Foods Corporation, noted the successful efforts of these schools and other partners. “The BLT Program has helped more than 142,000 undernourished school children from 1,500 schools in 200 towns and cities from across the country since 2007,” said Mr.Tan Caktiong.
JGF, led by its President, Grace Tan Caktiong, also paid tribute to its program partners from both the public and private sectors as well as members of the Jollibee Foods Corporation family. These partners have been sharing in JGF’s mission of empowering underprivileged Filipinos to live a life defined by dignity, purpose and active participation in nation-building. “Tonight is not just about JGF. We are actually honoring ten years of shared vision for our communities and collaboration with our partners,” Ms. Tan Caktiong said.
Aside from BLT, JGF’s other core programs are the Farmer Entrepreneurship Program (FEP), which assist smallholder farmers so they can directly supply institutional markets like JFC, which has assisted 1,000 farmers since 2008. and the Jollibee Group FoodAID Program that provides relief assistance and rehabilitation to communities affected by calamities.
The first successful farmer group, Kalasag Farmers Producers Cooperative from San Jose, Nueva Ecija was also recognized during the event.
The Municipality of Pinabacdao is located in the Southwestern part of the Province of Samar. It is accessible from all points of the province and region: 54 kms. North of Tacloban City – the Regional Capital of Eastern Visayas and 52 kms. South of Catbalogan City – the provincial capital of Samar Province. The municipality is composed of 24 barangays: 11 of which are located along the Maharlika Highway, four in the coastal and nine in the hinterlands.
Upland and lowland rice, corn and root crops are the major annual crops produced by farmers of Pinabacdao. Coconuts are also intercropped with bananas as permanent crops and recently, farmers are starting to plant ginger too. These crops are both for home consumption and local market. In spite of the variety of crops being produced, many pupils still suffer from malnutrition because Samar Province is a pathway of storms. With this, Zuellig Family Foundation applied to Jollibee Group Foundation (JGF) for the Busog, Lusog, Talino (BLT) School Feeding Program in Pinabacdao.
Since BLT begun, we experienced both delight and trials like, perhaps, other municipalities. But for the past four years, the feeding program continues for the benefit of the pupils and because of our supportive Local Chief Executive, Hon. Mario L. Quijano, M.D.
A series of typhoon came, there was Yolanda, Ruby, and Seniang which destroyed our houses and sources of income leaving our community devastated. This also affected some of our BLT pupils who cannot go to school due to lack of school supplies, uniforms and other basic necessities. But this experience gave us hope, courage and strength to face all trials. We see ourselves now as survivors and stronger than before.
Encouraging parent involvement was a challenge too. Some BLT parents are not in favor of it because, for them, meal preparation is very stressful. But the BLT Point Person Ms. Imelda Fabilane, Municipal Social Welfare and Development Officer Ms. Zenaida Estrada and Municipal Nutrition Action Officer Designate Ms. Agueda Cabornay sought ways and made the parents realize how glad and lucky we are to be chosen as one of the recipients of the JGF’s BLT School Feeding Program and it cannot be implemented if parents will not participate. Likewise, Municipal Health Officer Dr. Cornelio A. Solis and Sanitary Inspector Designate Ms. Ethel Nacario, helped by monitoring/facilitating deworming and medical check-up for the pupils. Also, the LGU, as the Local Implementing Partner, ensures that the program is well implemented in all six BLT school namely Lale Elementary School, Nabong Elementary School, Madalunot Elementary School, Laygayon Elementary, Pahug Elementary School and Parasanon Elementary School. Other efforts of the LGU are: distribution of coin bank to different institutions, conduct of parents’ seminars/orientation and provision of some kitchen utensils/supplies for the feeding center.
BLT in our Municipality gives hope to our pupils and a chance to be more creative and resourceful to its implementers/stakeholders. We are fueled by our vision for the BLT pupils: to have a healthy mind and body for a brighter future, accompanied by our mission: to implement the program well, no matter how hard it takes.