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Mega Prime Foods Inc. fortifies Mega Bigay Sustansya (MBS) Program in 2023, focuses on a Holistic Nutrition Journey of children

Mega Prime Foods Inc. (MPFI) is gearing up for another year as it continues its impactful Mega Bigay Sustansya (MBS) program that kicked-off on October 18. This year MPFI through the Mega Tiu Lim Foundation (MTLF) carries with it symbolic partnerships with organizations and government agencies who support the same advocacy of helping solve the age-old problem of malnutrition among Filipino children.

MPFI has solidified key partnerships through the signing of Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs), instrumental in advancing the MBS program’s multifaceted objectives in targeted communities. Notably, one significant MoU was established with Reach Out and Feed Philippines, Inc. (ROFP), a long-standing partner responsible for program facilitation. Concurrently, the Department of Education Region 8 (DepEd R8), Department of Education Region 4A (DepEd R4A) and European Chamber of Commerce through MOSEP for BARMM play vital roles in beneficiary identification, school and stakeholder coordination, and program-related facilitation. While their roles are technically similar, they are specific to target schools in their respective regions. DepEd R8, DepEd R4A and ECCP, alongside ROFP, work closely with MPFI, demonstrating a shared commitment to improving the nutrition of Filipino children and communities.

MPFI has also partnered with the Food and Nutrition Research Institute (DOST-FNRI), a collaboration that started last year. DOST-FNRI plays a crucial role in guiding the development of the 120-day, once-a-day meal plan, which incorporates MEGA sardines as the primary protein source for identified beneficiaries. They assess these meals according to nutritional guidelines and provide a structure for 16 training activities aimed at educating parents, teachers, and children about nutrition. While ROFP handles meal development, DOST-FNRI’s expertise ensures the meals meet nutritional standards.

These synergistic partnerships are set to enrich nutrition and empower communities in the specified regions.

Since its inception in 2019, this sustainable nutrition initiative has been meticulously crafted to empower Filipino families with the essential knowledge and resources necessary to ensure optimal nutrition for their children. As a prominent provider of high-quality and affordable food products, MPFI remains loyal in its dedication to enhancing the health and well-being of Filipino households through the enduring MBS program.

Data from the 2013 National Nutrition Survey (NNS) revealed that 29% of children aged 5–10 years were considered underweight. This prevalence is significantly lower compared to 2011 (32.0%). However, it is still considered a public health problem.

The survey also noted that the proportion of overweight and obese children increased by 1.7 percentage points from 2011 (7.4%) to 2013 (9.1%). The same nutritional indicators says energy and micronutrient intakes among school children are inadequate were also studied by the Department of Science and Technology’s Food and Nutrition Research Institute (DOST-FNRI) in 2021. Such that the Department of Health also recently said that the rate of malnutrition in the country among infants and toddlers is still high at 20%.

The study further showed that undernourished school-aged children were found to have high protein inadequacy. Higher consumption of grains and cereal products, meat, and high-quality protein foods was associated with a lower risk of stunting.

MPFI’s Mega Bigay Sustansya 2023 addresses a critical issue by enhancing our program to benefit school children. While our core mission remains unchanged—improving children’s health through nutritious meals—we’ve tailored our approach for students. We recognize that proper nutrition and education are deeply interconnected. Well-fed children can focus on their studies more effectively, leading to better information absorption and overall academic performance. This is especially significant as we partner with DepEd to fortify this vital connection.

MBS 2023 emphasizes the importance of affordable and accessible nutrition sources. In a time when access to nutritious food is vital, MBS seeks to bridge the gap by promoting options that are within reach for Filipino households.

As Mega Prime Foods Inc. continues to expand its portfolio of high-quality, value-for-money food products, MBS 2023 stands as a testament to its commitment to the Filipino people. It’s more than a feeding program; it’s a journey towards better health, education, and accessibility for all.

Thus, this year, Mega Bigay Sustansya is taking a comprehensive approach to nutrition, addressing the needs of both parents and children.

The cornerstone of the program will be the School-Based Feeding initiative, spanning 120 days and reaching elementary schools in Sto. Tomas, Batangas; Quezon (Lucena, Sariaya, Caluag); Tacloban (Tacloban City, Tanauan, Ormoc); and Bangsamoro Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (BARMM). This vital program will cater to children aged 6 to 12, delivering nutritious meals underpinned by brands like Mega Sardines, Mega Tuna, and Mega Prime Quality.

MBS will use a Nutrition Assessment Module that will empower area coordinators and volunteers with precise measurement skills, data analysis prowess, and result assessment acumen to ensure accurate assessment of the children’s progress throughout the program.

MBS 2023, transcending the conventional model of a feeding program, takes a holistic approach. We’re reaching out to educate families through teacher-children-parent workshops, offering Basic Nutrition and Meal Management training to teachers, parents of beneficiaries, and the beneficiaries themselves. This training equips them with the tools and knowledge to sustain the nutrition strategy beyond the program’s duration. Additionally, Community Programs enhance our impact, providing face-to-face basic nutrition and cooking workshops for families. These workshops empower parents and teachers with vital knowledge, and for young beneficiaries, engaging activities foster camaraderie and learning, enriching their nutritional journey.

Volunteerism also takes centerstage as Mega Prime Foods Inc. relaunches the Mega Employee Immersion Program. This initiative encourages employees to actively participate in CSR areas, partake in kids’ graduations, and contribute to the overall success of MBS.

A unique opportunity also awaits the topmost improved graduates, who will embark on a transformative Mega Sardines Museum Experience. This immersive visit will impart insights into the production of canned sardines and affordable nutrition sources, as well as the important work that goes into manufacturing food. This experiential tour will cement their basic knowledge of food nutrition and why it is important for growing children.

Mega Prime Foods Inc. remains loyal to its mission to make a meaningful impact on Filipino nutrition through the Mega Bigay Sustansya program. By adopting a holistic and sustainable approach, involving all stakeholders, MBS aspires to nurture healthier children and families across the nation, fortifying its commitment to a healthier and stronger Philippines.

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Dexter Francis De Vera is a manila-based art director with over 20 years extensive experience in the media industry producing editorials and advertising, retail space design (store displays), and more. His inspiration has always been the most powerful and most influential segment of the design world—fashion. As managing editor, he is responsible for curating, developing and overseeing editorial and social media content for iEventetc. Keep in touch with Dexter through [email protected]