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DSWD Food Stamp beneficiaries learning more ways to prepare healthy meals

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) conducted the 4th Nutrition Education Session and 5th Redemption Day of the WALANG GUTOM 2027: Food Stamp Program (FSP) in Tondo, Manila on Wednesday (November 15).

“Nutrition Education Session is one of the components of the program which aims to educate the beneficiaries on the value of buying and eating nutritious, delicious, and affordable food options for their families,” DSWD Assistant Secretary for Strategic Communications Romel Lopez, said.

During the Nutrition Education Session, the DSWD personnel shared how the beneficiaries can prepare healthy and nutritious meals for their families, as well as the essential food for pregnant and nursing mothers.

They also conducted an interactive discussion about the “Pinggang Pinoy”, a visual tool that uses a food plate model to show the recommended proportion by food groups in every meal that will help Filipinos adopt healthy eating habits by delivering effective dietary and healthy lifestyle messages.

After the Nutrition Education Session, the beneficiaries headed to the Kadiwa ng Pangulo store to redeem and buy food items based on the recommendation of the Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI).

“Through the Food Stamp Program, beneficiaries were provided with electronic benefit transfers that will be loaded with food credits amounting to P3,000 to purchase a select list of food commodities from DSWD-accredited local retailers,” Asst. Sec. Lopez, who is also DSWD spokesperson, explained.

From the total amount of food credits, Php1500 (50 percent) will be allocated to purchase carbohydrate-rich food such as rice and bread; Php900 (30 percent) will be for proteins such as chicken or pork; and Php600 (20 percent) are for vegetables, fruits, oil, salt, or other condiments.

Maricris Novelas, a nursing mother raising her seven children on her own, was teary-eyed while thanking the DSWD for coming up with FSP and for choosing her as one of the program beneficiaries.

“Thank you po sa DSWD, sa lahat ng tulong na ibinigay ninyo lalo po sa ngayon na wala po akong karamay. Thank you po dahil napili nyo po ako sa program po, lalo na sa mga staff… Sana po ay huwag kayong magsawa na tumulong sa katulad ko at sa mas nangangailangan po kagaya ng single mother na mas may kailangan,” Novelas said.

(Thank you to the DSWD, for all the help you have given us, especially now that I have no one. Thank you for choosing me as one of the beneficiaries of the program, especially the staff… I hope you do not get tired of helping people like me and those in need like single mothers.)

“Dati po, kung ano lang po ang mabili namin. Isang ulam lang po. Kung isda, isda lang po. Tapos wala kaming prutas. Kung ano lang po yung kaya ng budget namin. Sa ngayon naman, kumpleto na po sya. Mayroong gulay, may prutas, tapos may ulam. Malaking pagkakaiba po. Kumpleto sa masustansyang pagkain,” Novelas pointed out.

(Before, we were just eating what we could afford. We can just buy one viand. If it’s fish, it’s just fish. Then we don’t have any fruit. It’s just what we can afford to buy. Now, our meals are complete. There are vegetables, there are fruits, and viand. There’s a big difference. Our meal is complete with healthy food.)

The FSP provides a holistic approach to addressing involuntary hunger by providing its beneficiaries with access to monetary-based assistance and nutrition education to teach them how to prepare healthy and safe meals for the family.

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