Enhanced Nutribun: The Modern-day Manna
By: Emmanual Sumayang
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, our lives have never been the same. We were faced with new challenges and were obliged to submit to changing quarantine protocols. As a result, we had to re-engineer, re-think, and re-imagine our usual way of doing things to adjust to the signs of the times. One of the programs which took a serious blow from the pandemic is our feeding program. Mass gatherings are no longer allowed, and thus the children could no longer come. The usual feeding program posed a lot of logistical and health risks. What was once a solution to the problem of malnutrition has become a problem on its own. Amidst the restrictive nature of the pandemic, the nutritional need of our less-privileged children continues to be a reality and it must be addressed now more than ever. The enhanced Nutribun entered the picture and offered a viable alternative to sustain the feeding program in the pandemic. Many could still remember that Nutribun first came out in the 1970s as part of the government’s feeding program.
Nutrition-wise, the Department of Science and Technology-Food and Nutrition Research Institute’s (DOST-FNRI) enhanced Nutribun answers the children’s need for micronutrients, energy, and protein requirements. Based on the 2018 Expanded National Nutrition Survey, children aged 6-9 years old have 63.1% vitamin A inadequacy, while those in the 10-12 years old bracket have 76.1% vitamin inadequacy. The enhanced Nutribun has more micronutrients like iron and vitamin A. A piece of enhanced Nutribun already provides 60% of requirements for vitamin A. (Source:DOST)
It was through Miss Fina Diola, the incumbent social service ministry head that Fr. Bong Tupino was led to Amira’s Buko Tart Haus based in Tagaytay. They can outsource enough and steady supply of squash to maintain the low cost of the buns. Because of its squash content, the buns have a rather short shelf-life than our usual bread. Delivery, therefore, must be made twice a week to keep them fresh and suitable for human consumption. The parish and the shop’s representatives meet halfway in Lucky Chinatown or in the Santo Domingo Church every Mondays and Thursdays. Then the enhanced Nutribuns are distributed to the predetermined beneficiaries from the ten areas of the UP Parish of the Holy Sacrifice, namely: Ricarte, Palaris, Dagohoy, Amorsolo, Aguinaldo, Area 17, Daang-Tubo, Villages A, B, and C.
The feeding program ran from March 1 to August 13, and it has significantly contributed to the health and wellness of the children around UP Parish. As the data show, there is an increase of their entry weight since the enhanced Nutribun was introduced. We include in our prayers all those who have been part of the success of the program – the donors and benefactors, Amira’s Buko Tart Haus, UP Parish convent staff led by our parish priest, area coordinators, volunteers, and all those who, in one way or another, have shared this noble task of alleviating our poor brethren from the perennial problem of malnutrition.
March 2021 – August 2021 Update
- So, based on the 123 children with complete data, there was a 73.2% (90 children) with an increase in weight from March to August of 2021; 13.0% had no change in weight; while 13.8% of them had decreased in their weight.
- Area 17 had a 100% increase in weight; Amorsolo had a 94% increase in weight, with Area 17 having the higher average weight increase (3.65 kg) among the children.
- Dagohoy had one child that had an increase of 9 kg, but only 52.6% of the kids gained weight.
- Palaris had one child with an increase in weight of 6.6 kg and had 92.9% of the kids gained weight.
- Village A had 2 children that had an increase of 7 kg each, but only half of the kids gained weight.
For those who are interested in helping this program, you may send your donations to:
Account Name: Parish of the Holy Sacrifice
For proper acknowledgment and accounting of donations, please send us a copy of your deposit slip or fund transfer through email at firstname.lastname@example.org or through Viber at 0977-7271965