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BLT

October 07, 2014
Principal Bano (fourth from left) with the school Feeding Coordinator, Baranggay Captain and BLT parent volunteers in front of the feeding center they built together.

Principal Bano (fourth from left) with the school Feeding Coordinator, Baranggay Captain and BLT parent volunteers in front of the feeding center they built together.

For the past 14 years, Serena Bano has served as a teacher in the coastal town of San Dionisio in the province of Iloilo. She originally wanted to pursue a career in Pharmacy, but because of her eagerness to help others, she found herself in the education sector.

“When I started teaching, there were only four teachers in our town teaching in one school,” recounts Bano.

After being assigned to different schools, where she taught different subjects such as English and Math, she was promoted to school head. Now, as the principal of Siempreviva Elementary School, she manages to find ways to do her duties despite all the challenges.

Majority of her 429 students come from impoverished families. Many residents in the area still rely on fishing, farming and fish processing as their main source of livelihood. Along with 10 other teachers, she teaches part-time while serving as the school supervisor.

Mahirap talaga maging teacher. (Being a teacher is hard work.) You need dedication and commitment to teach students and see to it that their performance improves,” says Bano.

Not just classroom learning

For Bano, teaching goes beyond lessons in the classroom.

“Teaching is not just about educating students’ minds. It’s about ensuring that students have the ability to learn properly as well,” she says.

According to Bano, teachers, especially those in rural areas, have to deal with various hurdles on a daily basis. One of the most pressing problems is hunger among school children.

Pag pumapasok ang mga estudyante na walang laman ang tiyan, hindi sila nakikinig, parati sila nag-aaway. Very poor sila sa lessons, ang reading nila slow at wala sila gaanong attention span,” says Bano. (When students go to school on empty stomachs, they have a hard time paying attention in class. They fight with each other. They do very poorly in their lessons. Their reading is slow and their attention span is very limited.)

“As a school head, I had to find a solution to help the kids,” she adds.

To address this, she used Home Economics classes in school to initiate a once-a-week free hot meal of arroz caldo (rice porridge), sourcing contributions of rice from parents and teachers to help cook the meals.

When she found out about the Busog, Lusog, Talino (BLT), the school feeding program of the Jollibee Group Foundation (JGF), she immediately requested that their school be considered as a possible recipient and it paid off.

Siempreviva Elementary School is now on its third year as a beneficiary of the program. The BLT School Feeding Program aims to address hunger among Grades 1 to 6 undernourished public school pupils to help them stay in school and learn better. JGF provides counterpart funding and technical assistance to enable schools to serve lunch for 120 days within the school year. The program caters to students whose weak stamina may not withstand the rigors of daily schooling leading to sickness and eventual dropping out.

“At the end of the feeding cycle, almost all the students who were severely wasted achieved normal weight. The feeding program has even become a great influence on the students to come to school,” says Bano.

She adds that the cooperation of teachers and parents has been helpful. They actively attend meetings to address the challenges of the program and ensure food, service and cleanliness standards are met.

Going the extra mile

Engr. Cora Corbal, Director of the Extension Services Division of the Western Visayas College of Science and Technology (WVCST), which serves as the implementing partner of BLT in Iloilo, says that Bano went beyond the usual implementation. “In addition to the regular school feeding activities, she did her own research and introduced innovations,” says Corbal.

For example, she led an initiative to set up a small room with reading materials for the students. After lunch, they made sure that the pupils, especially those in Grade 1, would spend some time here so they could improve their reading ability.

“We have also been able to set up a temporary feeding center with donations from the local government unit (LGU) and alumni associations. The LGU is coming up with an allocation in their budget as counterpart for the BLT program,” says Bano. This is important in sustaining the program even beyond the support of JGF.

According to Bano, even other school heads have seen the positive results of the program and want to avail of it for their schools.

Erlie Gilo, the teacher in charge of the school’s daily feeding activities, believes that Bano’s role in the program was crucial to its success.  “Importanteng importante ang leadership ng principal. Dahil kung siya mismo yung humihindi, siguro malaking challenge sa akin yun bilang feeding coordinator,” (The leadership of the principal is very important to the success of the program. If she was hesitant to take it on, it would be a major challenge for me as the feeding coordinator) said Gilo.

National Teachers’ Month

As the country celebrates National Teachers’ Month and World Teachers’ Day on October 5, it is good to reflect on how educators like Serena Bano show just how important the role of teachers is in their students’ well-being. They have been hailed as modern-day heroes because of their sacrifices for the education of young people. For its part, JGF continues to implement the BLT program and joins hands with teachers across the country in their mission of promoting education and securing a bright future for the country.

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August 04, 2014

BLT Kick Off

“Child malnutrition is a stark reality in the Philippines. Many children in the country—most notably those in the countryside and urban poor areas—still do not have enough food to eat,” Sen. Grace Poe said during the 8th Busog, Lusog, Talino (BLT) Annual Opening Event in Cojuangco Elementary School in Paniqui, Tarlac. Now on its 8th year of program implementation nationwide, the BLT School Feeding Program continues with its mission to produce healthier and brighter schoolchildren.

The BLT School Feeding Program is an initiative of Jollibee Group Foundation (JGF) with partnering institutions that addresses hunger among Kinder and Grades 1 to 6 pupils to help them stay in school and learn better. BLT provides daily lunch to undernourished public school pupils for 120 days during the school year (August-February). For school year 2014-2015, the BLT School Feeding Program will cover more than 1,200 schools nationwide, which will benefit over 45,000 selected elementary pupils from Kinder to Grade 6. Since 2007, over 150,000 pupils have benefited from the program.

First BLT in the Provincial Government level

Aside from celebrating its 8th Annual Opening last July 22, 2014, BLT once again set another milestone since this is the first time an entire Provincial Government committed to support the program. The Provincial Government of Tarlac (PGT) under the leadership of Governor Victor Yap, entered a partnership with JGF to implement BLT in 20 public elementary schools in the municipalities of Bamban, Camiling, Capas, Paniqui, Pura, Sta. Ignacia, and Tarlac City among other cities and municipalities all over the country.

The opening event was graced by officials from the Provincial Government of Tarlac, including Governor Victor  Yap and Vice Governor Enrique Cojuangco, officials from the Department of Education (DepEd) including Office of Partnerships and External Linkages Undersecretary Mario Deriquito, Regional Director of DepEd Central Luzon Dr. Isabelita Borres, and JGF officials led by its President Grace Tan Caktiong and  Vice President Belen Rillo.

Tarlac province has 3,789 undernourished schoolchildren and an overall 16% rate of malnutrition. The numbers might be small compared to other provinces but as for Governor Yap, he deems it important to involve different sectors – school administrators, government leaders, private sector, and other civic groups to work together towards fighting malnutrition. He believes the BLT School Feeding Program will effectively address this.

Public-Private Partnership in School Feeding

As an effort to build and strengthen partnerships with local government units (LGUs), non-government organizations (NGOs), private sector, and other groups, DepEd encourages public-private partnerships in order to cover more beneficiaries for school feeding through the pooling of resources.

The BLT Program was lauded by DepEd Undersecretary Deriquito as a “very good and growing program” as JGF. works closely with the department to address the issue of hunger and malnutrition and develops a partnership model that involves various stakeholders. Deriquito mentioned three (3) specific fruits of DepEd’s partnership with JGF and other stakeholders.  These partnerships have (1) generated more resources for school-based feeding, (2) enabled DepEd to organize a consortium of organizations that formulated standards and guidelines for the school-based feeding program that made it more efficient and more effective; and 3) contributed to demonstrating to our school children the  value of working together and sharing of one’s resources.

One of the long-term ideals of BLT is for the school feeding program to be institutionalized in order to cater all undernourished school children in the country. Senator Poe for her part filed Senate Bill No. 79 or the Sustansya sa Batang Pilipino Act which intends to address child malnutrition by pushing for a standard free lunch program for public school children. During the event, the Senator witnessed first-hand how the BLT school feeding program operates. Closing her speech with, “Ang lakas ng ating bansa ay nasa batang populasyon natin”, Sen. Poe expressed her determination to push for an institutionalized school feeding in public schools.

JGF President Grace Tan Caktiong pledged the continuing commitment and support of JGF to the Department of Education in addressing hunger and malnutrition among public school pupils. In a similar way, the Foundation expressed its support to Senator Poe’s advocacy of institutionalizing school feeding in order to give our Filipino children better nutrition which means better chance for them to be educated to become productive citizens.

Getting Involved

There are three ways to become a BLT partner: 1) donate funds; 2) donate feeding ingredients and materials; and 3) implement BLT as your community relations/outreach program.

Everyone can also help feed pupils by donating through BLT coinbanks found in all Jollibee Foods Corporation (JFC) stores nationwide: Jollibee, Chowking, Greenwich, Red Ribbon, Mang Inasal and Burger King.

To learn more about the BLT School Feeding Program,contact (02) 688-7124 or send an email at bltschoolfeeding@jollibee.com.ph. Visit www.jollibeegroupfoundation.org.

July 28, 2014

blt kickoff

The Jollibee Group Foundation marked the nationwide start of its eighth annual Busog, Lusog, Talino (BLT) School Feeding Program for this school year with a ceremonial launch held at Cojuangco Elementary School, Paniqui, Tarlac. Leading the school feeding were Senator Grace Poe (seated, fourth from left) and Jollibee Group Foundation President Grace Tan Caktiong (seated, in red).

Together with the local government of Tarlac represented at the launch by Governor Victor Yap and Vice- Governor Enrique Cojuangco Jr. and the Department of Education represented by Undersecretary Mario Deriquito, the Jollibee Group Foundation is implementing the feeding program in 20 public elementary schools in the municipalities of Bamban, Camiling, Capas, Paniqui, Pura, Sta. Ignacia, and Tarlac City among other cities and municipalities all over the country. For school year 2014-2015, the BLT School Feeding Program will cover more than 1,200 schools nationwide, which will benefit over 50,000 selected elementary pupils from Kinder to Grade 6. Since 2007, over 150,000 pupils have benefited from the program.

The BLT School Feeding Program is an initiative of the Jollibee Group Foundation together with partner institutions that provides daily lunch to undernourished public school pupils for 120 days during the school year to address hunger and malnutrition in public elementary schools in order to help pupils stay in school and learn better.

Senator Grace Poe for her part has filed a bill in the Senate that intends to address child malnutrition by pushing for a standard free lunch program for public school children.

 

 

July 17, 2014

Jollibee Group Foundation marks 8th year of School Feeding Program

JGF will be holding its Annual Busog, Lusog, Talino (BLT) Opening on July 22, 2014 in Tarlac.

Currently on its 8th year of implementation this school year 2014-2015, the BLT School Feeding Program is an initiative of JGF with partnering institutions that addresses hunger and malnutrition in public elementary schools in order to help pupils stay in school and learn better. BLT provides daily lunch to undernourished public school pupils for 120 days during the school year (August to March).

The opening event, which will be held in Paniqui, Tarlac, will highlight the BLT program in the context of public-private partnership in school feeding.

Senator Grace Poe will deliver the keynote message while Jollibee Group Foundation President Grace Tan Caktiong, will deliver a message on the BLT.

Officials from the Provincial Government of Tarlac, including Governor Victor A. Yap and Vice Governor Enrique Cojuangco, and officials from the Department of Education including Undersecretary Mario Deriquito of the Office of Partnerships and External Linkages and Dr. Isabelita M. Borres, Regional Director for Central Luzon are expected to grace the event.

The formal opening event will be followed by a witnessing of the feeding program in one of the BLT beneficiary schools.

For SY 2014-2015, JGF has partnered with the Provincial Government of Tarlac (PGT) in implementing the feeding program in 20 public elementary schools in the province, covering the municipalities of Bamban, Camiling, Capas, Paniqui, Pura, Sta. Ignacia and the city of Tarlac.

JGF’s partnership with the Provincial Government of Tarlac is notable since this will be the first time the BLT program will be implemented at the provincial level. JGF has noted the strong commitment demonstrated by the PGT to implement BLT.

The program is in line with the public-private partnerships mandate of the Department of Education (DepEd) in implementing its School-Based Feeding Program (SBFP) nationwide this school year.

As an effort to build and strengthen partnerships with local government units (LGUs), non-government organizations (NGOs), private sector, and other groups, DepEd encourages public-private partnerships in order to cover more beneficiaries for school feeding through the pooling of resources.

This school year, the BLT School Feeding Program covers more than 1,200 in over 200 cities and municipalities nationwide; providing daily lunch to 50,000 pupils selected from Kinder to Grade 6. This brings the total number of BLT pupils covered by the program to over 150,000 since its first year of implementation in 2007.

Jollibee Group Foundation is the social responsibility arm of Jollibee Foods Corporation, the largest restaurant company in the Philippines, which includes Jollibee, Chowking, Greenwich, Red Ribbon, Mang Inasal and Burger King Philippines. The Jollibee Group Foundation supports food related programs for the community in alignment with Jollibee Foods Corporation’s vision of spreading the joy of eating to everyone.

Jollibee Group Foundation is supported by the following brands under the Jollibee Foods Corp.

jollibee
chowking
greenwich
redribbon
manginasal
burgerking
jollibee
jollibee