(Feature) Anti-poverty program nourishes poor families
By Filane Mikee Z. Cervantes
MANILA, June 10 (PNA) — Merlina Acibron and her children now have healthier food options and sources with a sustainable garden maintained by the household members themselves.
”Ngayon, lagi nang may masusustansyang pagkain para sa mga anak ko. Noon, halos araw-araw ay ginamos at bulad ang ulam namin (There is now nutritious food available for my children. Before, we only ate fermented fish and dried fish almost every day),” said Arcibon, a partner family of the Integrated Community Food Production Program (ICFP).
Arcibon shared she seldom bought vegetables from the wet market because these were expensive.
She also recalled her children’s poor health condition before they became an ICFP partner family. Her four children were underweight.
Acibron’s family is one of the families in Bindoy, Negros Occidental who lived in extreme poverty. Their income was not enough to buy basic food requirements to meet their nutritional needs.
When the ICFP was launched in 2015, they became a partner family of the program.
The program helps poor families and communities grow their own vegetables and fruits, and raise poultry and livestock.
It was Acibron’s first time to grow vegetables like tomato, string beans, squash, and ampalaya. She also raised chickens and a goat which provide her family a daily source of protein.
”Malaking tulong ang pag-aalaga ng mga manok, nakakakain na ng itlog ang mga anak ko araw-araw. Nakakabili na rin ako ng karne at isda dahil nakakapagbenta ako ng mga gulay (Raising chickens is a big help because my children can now eat eggs every day. I am also able to buy meat and fish through selling vegetables),” she said.
The ICFP is an anti-poverty program initiated by the National Anti-Poverty Commission and is implemented through Bottom-up Budgeting.
NAPC Director Jesusa Rebete said the program not just enables families to produce their own food, but it also restores the culture of backyard farming to address the issues of hunger and malnutrition.
Furthermore, Rebete noted that ICFP expands the income sources of beneficiaries by selling surplus produce.
This program is a shift toward a sustainable social protection for the food vulnerable communities with components such as the establishment of household and community gardens, capacity building, poultry and small livestock production, production of organic fertilizers. (PNA)