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Public high school in Albay feeds undernourished kids

By Sally Altea

LEGAZPI CITY, Albay --- At least a hundred public high school students who were found to be severely stunted and with poor literacy and numeracy abilities were selected to benefit from the feeding program of the Department of Education (DepEd).

The DepEd program, to be implemented in Anislag National High School (ANHS), is funded under the Feeding for Learning project of the Augmenting School's Performance Indicators as Result of Education (Aspire).

“We are in the third year of the implementation of the Aspire project. The objective is to improve the nutritional status of the students, especially those with poor reading and numeracy skills. According to studies, these learners tend to drop out of school so we have this program to help them,” ANHS nutrition program focal Riza Hela Nimo said.

A classroom at ANHS was converted into an air-conditioned café where the meals will be served.

Diners can order from a menu of nutritious food such as fortified biscuits and drinks, and the classic pansit bato and champorado with vegetables to help them gain weight and height.

Student volunteers assist in the feeding at the Aspire Cafe.

“Our feeding program is different from the usual. For high-school students, feeding has a negative meaning since it’s as if they are not normal. So, we have the Aspire café to give them that ambiance of a famous coffee shop to encourage them to join the project,” Nimo said.

The classroom renovation was funded by the Ang Probinsyano Party list (APPL). The Department of Education - Schools Division Office of Albay is funding the room maintenance and other food needs.

Aside from the feeding activities, the beneficiaries will also be supported to sustain the improvement in their nutrition and academic performance through learning sessions on food processing and other related topics.

APPL national coordinator Alfred Nimo said their support for the project is a complement to their programs in combating malnutrition.

"This collaboration with the DepEd and ANHS is an augmentation to our programs on nutrition," he said. (PIA5/Albay)


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