Marikina launches Nutribun program
Marikina City has launched a Nutribun program at Parang Elementary School.
The event led by Mayor Marcelino “Marcy” Teodoro was attended by more than 1,000 kindergarten and elementary students and their parents.
Stressing the importance of nutritious meals to developing children, the mayor said the local government thought of giving free bread that has been fortified with vitamins and minerals and milk to the grade school kids.
“We will monitor their grades and performance after 120 days if they have improved in their studies. According to studies, there is a relation between proper nutrition and school performance in children,” Teodoro said before the mothers and children present at the launching.
He also told parents not to solely rely on schools to provide proper nutrition to their children as they should be the ones advocating healthy eating habits.
The city government will be conducting a seminar on nutrition among parents to teach them the recommended daily food allowance needed by their growing children.
The mayor also lauded former city counselor Judy Magtubo, head of the program, for successfully implementing the Nutribun program plan.
Magtubo said they are also providing milk to go along with the fortified bun.
Marikina’s Nutribun program is targeting 21,000 kinder and public school children, as Teodoro is eyeing to have zero malnutrition next year in the city.
The fund for the project will come from the Special Nutrition Fund of Marikina City.
Nutribun, the bread envisioned as a way to fight malnutrition, was developed by a team of nutritionists and agrarian experts at the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University from 1968 to 1970.
It is well fortified with nutrients and was designed around a “base” product that could be modified using any number of locally available substances.
The rate of malnutrition went up during the Marcos administration. Due to this, the Philippines decided to take advantage of the US Food for Peace Program, and began its own five-year nutrition program in 1971, which was later called “Operation Timbang.”
In 1972, USAID started providing the government with thousands of loaves of Nutribun, aside from the hundreds of tons of dried milk powder.
Because of the decreasing rate of malnutrition in the country, the Nutribun program was gradually phased out. The final batches of bread were distributed in the mid-1980s.