Laki sa Gatas Program: Bringing Good Nutrition to More Areas

Poverty has always been a problem in our country and it’s the children who suffer most because of it. Recent studies show that malnutrition remains to be a pressing problem in the Philippines and that several provincial areas show high incidences of this condition which mostly affects public school kids in poor living conditions.

These kids, especially those in the 6 to 10 year-old bracket, are malnourished due to poor food choices and inadequate or complete lack of milk intake. In the 7th National Nutrition Survey done by the Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI) in 2008, it has been found out that 27.9% of children are way shorter than what their normal height should be. In addition, 25.6% are underweight and 33.1% are underheight. These kids also suffer from lack of energy and perform poorly in school. 

To help address this issue, the LAKI SA GATAS Nutrition Education Advocacy has been dealing with the core of the problem – lack of nutrients needed for mental and physical development – by teaching parents and public schoolchildren across the country about the importance of good nutrition. Since its inception in 2006, the advocacy has visited close to 5,000 public schools nationwide and reached out to more than 2.5 million moms and their kids.

One of the staunch supporters of the LAKI SA GATAS program is Batangas Governor Vilma Santos-Recto, one of the women in power whom I personally admire. Without a doubt, she epitomizes feminine strength, grace, beauty, and charm. 

In a press conference held last week in Quezon City, Gov. Vi shared that she considers the public she serves as an extension of her family. She also believes that health is very important which is why her priority programs are geared toward health. “In Batangas, I am initiating programs for the rehabilitation of hospitals, for the promotion of health cards, and various nutrition programs.”

She expressed her aspiration to see families, especially kids, improve their lives and be able to reach their dreams. The LAKI SA GATAS campaign tours schools and communities around the Philippines to encourage school kids to drink milk and eat nutritious yet affordable food. Through the program, mothers are also taught practical ways how to prepare delicious meals and snacks and to give their kids at least two glasses of milk drink a day.

This year, proponents of the advocacy are targeting more provinces and aims to bring their brand of nutrition education to over 700,000 more students and more than 400,000 parents.

Ambitions and dreams are within reach if a child has a healthy body and a healthy mind. Even we should remember that.

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