Thursday, November 04, 2010

CDO partners with PBSP for urban poverty reduction

CDO partners with PBSP for urban poverty reduction
The Philippine Star
November 4, 2010

MANILA, Philippines - Food manufacturer CDO-Foodsphere Inc. has teamed up with the Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP), a non-profit corporate foundation established by prominent businessmen led by PLDT chairman Manuel Pangilinan, for a supplemental feeding program to save indigent children out of malnutrition in a pilot site in northern Metro Manila.

Odyssey Foundation and PBSP joined hands in implementing the Almusalang Bayan: Supplemental Feeding Program in a densely populated poor community in Catmon, Malabon City.

Odyssey is the corporate social responsibility (CSR) arm of CDO-Foodsphere.

Under the program supported by CDO-Foodsphere and pharmaceutical firm United Laboratories Inc., some 150 underweight children from the project site underwent a 64-day supplemental feeding that highlighted the importance of breakfast.

The children received free breakfast as well as vitamin supplements needed to nurse them back to health.

Several nutrition and scientific studies have tagged breakfast as the most important meal of the day, as it provides the necessary nutrients the body needs for physical and mental growth and development.

The program, which is in line with the Strategic Private Sector Partnerships for Urban Poverty Reduction (STEP-UP) campaign of PBSP, has resulted in the improved nutritional condition of the 150 young beneficiaries.

It involved partnership building, baseline data gathering, training, actual feeding, and monitoring and assessment. The 150 beneficiaries aged five and below, completed the program last Aug. 12.

STEP-UP is being implemented by PBSP in 14 cities in Metro Manila to improve the quality of life of over 13,000 households.

Odyssey Foundation said it partnered with PBSP in response to Pangilinan’s call on the private sector to “contribute to reducing the extent and misery or urban poverty” in the country.

Odyssey Foundation said the partnership with PBSP for the supplemental feeding program is a significant step toward getting the private sector involved in addressing the serious problem of malnutrition in the Philippines.

Data from the government’s Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI) show that between 2005 and 2008, the proportion of Filipino children aged zero to five who were underweight increased from 24.6 percent to 26.2 percent.

At the same time, the percentage of underheight children aged below five went up from 26.3 percent to 27.9 percent during the three-year period.

In actual number, this translates to 3.3 million Filipino children who were underweight and 3.5 million children who were underheight.

“In every 100 pre-school children, 26 were underweight, 28 were underheight and six were thin,” according to the results of the 2008 National Nutrition Survey.