Food stamp program beneficiaries required to attend nutrition classes – DSWD

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, June 7) — The government's food stamp program will mandate its beneficiaries to attend nutrition classes to encourage poor households to develop healthy eating habits, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) said.

DSWD Secretary Rex Gatchalian cited the Food and Nutrition Research Institute's (FNRI) data that many Filipinos tend to purchase junk food while grocery shopping.

"They’ll also be made to attend nutrition classes. Kasi ang plano natin sa programa ay mapalitan natin yung eating habits sa loob ng tahanan," he said in a media forum.

[Translation: They will also be asked to attend nutrition classes. Because our plan is to change the eating habits within the households.]

"May pinakita sa amin yung Food and Nutrition Research Institute na buying habits ng mga Pilipino, mahilig pa rin tayo sa mga chichirya, matatamis," Gatchalian noted.

[Translation: The Food and Nutrition Research Institute shared with us the buying habits of Filipinos who love chips and sweets.]

A total of 3,000 families from geographically isolated regions or provinces, and calamity-stricken areas will participate in the pilot run from July to December.

Under the food stamp program, each family will be given tap cards containing ₱3,000 worth of food credits.

Gatchalian said the FNRI is helping in the crafting of menus for the beneficiaries.

The DSWD said the food stamp program also seeks to help farmers as the government's Kadiwa centers, where the public can buy agricultural products at lower prices, will be one of the partner retailers for the program.

"This is a program that is also meant to help our farmers […] Tatlo yung outlets na na-envision namin, pero yung pina-prioritize natin ay yung mga farmers-driven areas," Gatchalian explained.

[Translation: This is a program that is also meant to help our farmers […] We are envisioning three outlets, but we are prioritizing farmers-driven areas.]

"Ang una naming ise-set up sa pilot talaga ay yung mga Kadiwa or yung mga bagsakan, kasi ang goal nga ay farm to table," he said.

[Translation: We will prioritize Kadiwa centers or produce markets because our goal is to bring food from farm to table.]

Aside from nutrition classes, the DSWD will also require beneficiaries to enroll in job-generating programs of the Department of Labor and Employment and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority.