Malnourished students to get vitamin-enriched drink
Some 3,500 schoolchildren in Quezon City’s fifth and sixth congressional districts are expected to benefit from Minute Maid Nurisha Supplementary Program.
Under the program, Coca-Cola Philippines will provide the students with the new Minute Maid Nurisha to help reduce iron deficiency anemia (IDA) and other micronutrient deficiencies. The beneficiaries, Grades 1-2 students aged 6-9 years old, will be given the fortified orange juice drink for free for 120 days.
Minute Maid Nurisha is enriched with 14 key nutrients, including Vitamins A, B-complex, C, D and E, and zinc, to address deficiencies in children’s diets.
It was developed by Coca-Cola with the help of the Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI) of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST).
The Minute Maid supplementary program, which was launched at Sauyo Elementary School in Quezon City, is a partnership among the offices of sixth district Rep. Kit Belmonte, Vice Mayor Joy Belmonte, the Department of Education, Division of City Schools and Coca-Cola Philippines.
Sauyo principal Dr. Arsenio Honrejas Jr. said, “Our feeding program with Nurisha will start in August and end in February 2016. From Monday to Friday, each beneficiary will receive a free meal, 9 a.m. for the morning classes and 11 a.m. for the afternoon classes.”
To identify those who needed to be covered by the program, Honrejas said the students went through a body mass index (BMI) check to see if they were malnourished and underweight.
Malnourished kids automatically became beneficiaries of the feeding program. Sauyo has 300 student beneficiaries.
Adel Tamano, vice president for public affairs and communications of Coca-Cola Philippines, said Nurisha was exclusively for use in Coke’s Adopt-A-School program and would not be commercially available in the market.
He said they expected to bring the benefits of Nurisha to a total of 300,000 kids all over the country.
“We believe that nourishing the youth of today enables us to build better and stronger communities of tomorrow. This is the very reason why Minute Maid Nurisha is not sold in your local grocery stores but distributed for free only through our partners,” Tamano said.
Parents who attended the launch were taught the importance of keeping their kids healthy by providing them with healthy meals every day.
Coca-Cola Philippines has worked with FNRI since 2005 to develop a beverage that will reduce the incidence of IDA through the NutriJuice Program.
This year, the partners developed Nurisha to address not only IDA but other micronutrient deficiencies.
Based on the 2013 National Nutrition Survey, 29 percent of Filipino kids, aged 5-10 years, were underweight while 11 percent, ages 6-12 years, suffered from IDA.
Dr. Imelda Angeles-Agdeppa, assistant scientist of FNRI-DOST, said, “IDA may lead to several health and economic problems including stunted growth, tiredness, poor work performance, and physical and cognitive
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