Undeniably, many individuals of all ages have gone hungry during the COVID-19 pandemic. This is mostly because they—or their families—have lost their financial stability after being laid off from work due to the effects of the health crisis on the economy.
This is why the Department of Education (DepEd) is planning to relaunch their School-Based Feeding Program (SBFP) for school-aged students that are target beneficiaries. However, because of the pandemic and the suspension of face-to-face classes, the mode of administration of the program will change.
Nepomuceno Malaluan, DepEd Undersecretary and spokesperson, says that instead of feeding the students in school, the staff of DepEd and their partner organizations will be delivering the food to students’ houses. (Read: What Changes Can We Expect This Coming School Year?)
Malaluan adds that their target beneficiaries for this school year will also change. From feeding K-6 learners, the program will now be providing for the nutrition needs of incoming kindergarten students and Grades 1 to 6 students.
School-Based Feeding Program
DepEd’s School-Based Feeding Program has been conducted yearly since 1997. Then called the Breakfast Feed Program, the SBFP aims to provide meals to learners who had no access to proper and nutritious food. The program used to only address short-term hunger but has since evolved into a feeding initiative that helps with the issue of undernutrition in the country. (Read: DOST Conducts Nutrition Assessment Survey Amid Pandemic)
Parents, teachers, and students alike volunteer yearly to assist in the administration of the feeding program in thousands of schools nationwide.