U.S. Agricultural Attaché David Wolf on Tuesday led cabinet and local officials in launching the USDA “Food for Progress School Nutrition Program,” providing nutritional assistance to about 85,000 public elementary school children in parts of Luzon.
The assistance is in the form of long shelf-life milk packs and fortified biscuits, which will be distributed starting Nov. 15 until January 2011.
“Distribution of this milk and fortified biscuits donated by the United States not only increases students’ health, but could also increase school attendance rates and participation levels by the students while in school,” said Wolf.
Also at the ceremony in Sagad Elementary School in Pasig City were Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala, Education Secretary Armin Luistro, Republic Flour Mills (RFM) Corp. president Jose Ma. Concepcion III, Rep. Roman Romulo and Pasig City Mayor Robert Eusebio.
“The program aims to supplement the dietary needs of the beneficiaries and improve the children’s health, nutrition values, and behavior,” Alcala said.
The activity is part of the advocacy of the United States’ support for school health and nutrition programs. The USDA also supports various agricultural development programs in the Philippines, such as improving agricultural production techniques, developing agribusiness, and helping link small farmers to the market.