DSWD, DepEd have nearly P10B for ‘food pantries’ — Poe
MANILA, Philippines — Senator Grace Poe on Wednesday urged the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), and the Department of Education (DepEd) to tap into their respective budget allocations for 2021 to set up “food pantries” for children.
Poe said the number of beneficiaries of the feeding programs of the DSWD and DepEd could increase if they will learn from organizers of community pantries and partner with non-government organizations.
“The funds can be leveraged to extend the reach of the feeding programs,” Poe said in a statement.
“The community pantry experience shows that there is tremendous goodwill among our people just waiting to be tapped for a great cause, and addressing child hunger is definitely one,” she added.
According to Poe, partnerships with church groups, civil society, business associations, and local governments will relieve teachers of non-teaching work, mobilize volunteers, and promote transparency in the use of funds.
Under the 2021 national budget, the DSWD has P3.83 billion for its Supplemental Feeding Program that will cater to nearly two million children in daycare and early child care community facilities.
Meanwhile, DepEd has a P6-billion budget for its School-Based Feeding Program, which seeks to feed over 1.7 million children who have nutritional deficiencies.
Nevertheless, Poe credited the two agencies for being able to deliver food to the intended beneficiaries last year despite community quarantines that were imposed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Poe then stressed that feeding programs should continue, adding that “hunger is a lethal effect of the pandemic.”
Poe wants Non, community pantry organizers, volunteers commended
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