/ 19 January 2021

EDUCATION Secretary Leonor Briones stressed that good nutrition is crucial for children to learn as she acknowledged the major role of her department in keeping students healthy.

In her message during the first anniversary of the Inter-Agency Task Force on Zero Hunger and the launching of the NFP document, Briones stressed the importance of healthy learners and how eliminating hunger can help children become better citizens.

“We cannot teach; we cannot share learning to a hungry child. A child has to be nutritionally fed to be able to learn, absorb new information, as well as become better citizen,” she said.

“In addition to our feeding program, which is a regular part of our school activity, we also include food production in our curriculum,” Briones explained.

The School-based Feeding Program for School Year 2020-2021 provides nutritious food and milk to learners from kindergarten to grade six.

Meanwhile, food production-related subjects like agricultural crop production and fish processing were included in the Senior High School curriculum.

“Let this be an inspiration to us, [let us] work in seeking [solutions] and combatting this scourge of hunger,” Briones said.

This year, the IATF Zero Hunger 2021 created the National Food Policy and programs in partnership with the Department of Agriculture. These programs provide support to farmers and fisherfolks who are heavily affected by the Covid19 pandemic.

Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles, chairman of the task force, highlighted some of the ZHTF’s accomplishments, including the creation of the Enhanced Partnership Against Hunger and Poverty, the institutionalization of the Zero Hunger Programs Guidelines, the holding of the Kasapatan at Ugnayan ng Mamayan sa Akmang Pagkain at Nutrisyon Webinar Series, the Feeding Programs Initiative for the First 1000 Days of Life, the launching of Pilipinas Kontra Gutom, and the drafting of the Philippine Multisectoral Nutrition Project Proposal for the World Bank.