Legazpi City. The National Nutrition Council released Nutrition Cluster Advisory No. 1 and No. 2 where LGUs and other nutrition stakeholders are recommended to prioritize nutrition in the midst of COVID-19 pandemic. Many heeded the call of NNC and continue to provide healthy food packs to their respective communities. The whole of Bicol Region has now shifted to modified general community quarantine where more families are now able to work and start to generate income. Despite this, the LGU of Pio Duran, Albay implemented a project entitled “Project Nutri-pack” which is nutrition in emergencies initiative for the nutritionally vulnerable families with young children and pregnant women. It started since the enhanced community quarantine and has benefited 763 young children aged 6-59 months old, and 37 pregnant women. The said project began with the distribution of nutritious food packs for 800 nutritionally at-risk children and pregnant women coming from all the barangays in Pio Duran, Albay. The first wave of distribution was on 13 April 2020 where food packs including fresh fish, smoked fish, string beans, camote, squash, ampalaya, glutinous rice (malagkit), calamansi, onions, and eggplants were added to the regular food packs distributed by the LGU. Four more waves of distribution of food packs which included rice, fruit, vegetables, and fish were distributed even when the enhanced community quarantine was already lifted to ensure that the beneficiaries incorporate a balanced diet in their diet and lessen the risk of malnutrition in the community. The 763 children aged 6-59 months old were also given multivitamins with chlorella growth factor to help boost their immune system and will continue to be given this vitamin for 8 months.
Aside from the nutritionally at-risk children and pregnant women, indigent senior citizens also benefited from this project as they were also given 1-month supply of multivitamins. To promote food production, the LGU also conducted information dissemination and distributed vegetable seeds and seedlings to help increase food availability and accessibility in each home. The LGU also distributed rice, noodles, bread, and vegetables to every household in the municipality.
Lastly, the Sangguniang Kabataan of almost all the barangays in the municipality conducted a supplemental feeding program where nutritious meals were brought to the homes of identified nutritionally at-risk children.
All these initiatives were planned and implemented by the LGU’s Municipal Nutrition Committee, led by Mayor Alan R. Arandia together with Vice Mayor Marvin Quiroz MNAO, Dr. Edward V. Hernandez, Technical Team of Nutrition Office, other RHU staff and DOH-HRH personnel assigned in Pio Duran. With their help, all the beneficiaries were able to eat nutritious meals and help fight COVID-19.
(NACL, MCV, ARR, NNC RO V)