JGF partners with DepEd and LGU Gerona for Municipal-wide School Feeding Program
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.