More than a year after its launch in November 2020, Pilipinas Kontra Gutom (PKG) partners share milestones towards the movement’s goal of less hungry Filipinos.
Pilipinas Kontra Gutom is a multi-sectoral movement of Task Force Zero Hunger with the public sector and 80 partner members from private corporations and non-government organizations working hand in hand to address the country’s concerns on involuntary hunger – food production and distribution, malnutrition, food surplus and immediate food needed during times of disasters.
Divide and conquer is one of the guiding principles of the movement. Multi-sectoral working groups were set up targeting specific beneficiaries and focused on different priorities toward achieving zero hunger in the country.
First priority is food availability and accessibility with the vision to elevate farming as a dignified, sustainable profession among smallholder farmers and other food producers. The goal is to increase farmer income by as much as 20% in the first year and double productivity by 2025. Key programs include the expansion of value chain projects by partner companies through capacity building and logistics improvement in the farm-to-consumer process.
Second is the nutrition adequacy goal. The group is eyeing zero undernourished Filipino children across all households by 2030. The key program to drive this objective involves a sustainable, nutrition education program for pregnant mothers that guides them during the first 1000 days of a child and teaches them how to build a healthy food culture at home through nutritious, delicious yet budget-friendly recipes for the family.
Food assistance and security during disasters is the third priority of the movement. A strengthened and synchronized public and private sectors’ disaster response initiatives during disasters to ensure efficient food distribution is the end in mind.
Food banking is the landmark project for availability and assistance which is the fourth priority. The aim is to establish an effective food banking system in Metro Manila that will help supply and ensure a sustainable flow of food to communities in need.
On food availability and accessibility, 4,000 farmers and agripreneurs have been assisted through programs such as Nestle and GIZ’s Project Coffee+, TESDA-Nestle’s Coffee Farmer Scholarship Program, Cargil’s Yellow Corn Project with Aboitiz, Cargill, Bayer, Pilmico, Vitarich, Save the Children and PPSA, and Learning Series led by Jollibee Group Foundation with Harbest and PPSA. These initiatives have benefitted communities in Cagayan, Bukidnon, Sultan Kudarat and CAR, and helped enable local growers with capacity building, best practices on value chain, and income growth assistance. For the Corn Project alone, improved production and resiliency resulted in corn farmers increasing income by at least 10%. For Project Coffee+, the average yield of 1,500 coffee farmers has doubled and the average income has tripled.
Another program that helps with food availability and accessibility is Feed Back, a community-based vegetable exchange, that helps solve hunger in just 5 weeks. It creates a path for families to source food from their backyards, exchange excess produce with their neighbors, and sell to their own community, nearby villages and towns. The program paves way to new entrepreneurs and new local, regenerative and equitable food systems. To date, 11 communities have graduated from Feed Back and 26 communities are currently starting or implementing it. Community partnerships grew by 5x and span 7 provinces. In the 37 communities, ARK Feed Back is helping a total of 9,785 families and transforming 43,742 lives.
On nutrition adequacy, Kain Tayo Pilipinas, a public-facing campaign, had been launched last July 2021 to promote public awareness of the issue of malnutrition and drive participation in the advocacy through donations. The campaign raised a total amount of PHP 1.5 million to date from individual public donors and corporate donations from Fluor, Greenbulb Communications, Johnson & Johnson, McDonald’s, Publicis Groupe, Teleperformance and Unilever. More than P25 million worth of media values were also given by ABS-CBN, GMA and Facebook for the campaign. Details of the campaign can be found at kaintayopilipinas.com. The donations will be used to fund the roll-out of the First 1000 days nutrition education program in hotspot areas under the adequacy goal.
On-ground partners World Food Programme, Gawad Kalinga, Kabisig ng Kalahi, Rise Against Hunger, Project Pearls, ABS-CBN Foundation, GMA Foundation, Department of Social Welfare and Development, and Nutrition Council of the Philippines have all been trained on the First 1000 days nutrition education materials and how to cascade to their beneficiaries.
In the area of assistance during times of crisis, the group collaborates with local and national organizations, corporations, civil society groups and local government units to execute efforts for the victims of calamities, and pre-evacuation for typhoon affected families.
In November 2020, PKG founding members – Coca-Cola, Dole Philippines, Johnson & Johnson Philippines, McDonald’s, Metrobank and San Miguel, initially pledged 100,000 meals for identified communities in NCR and key priority areas. To date, 110, 765 meals have been distributed.
A Mobile Kitchen was set up in Eastern Visayas to provide nutritious meals to 1,000 children for a month-long period. As of today, a total of 27,000 meals were already distributed. Communities in Jipapad, Hirnani and San Julian, Eastern Samar were covered by this initiative.
In addition, Kain Tayo sa Pasko Hot Meals donation drive which ran from November 2021 to February 2022 was able to provide 1,900 noche buena packages, 11,230 meals, 132,076 assorted items (milk, chocolates, peanut butter, sinigang mixes), and 28,992 canned goods have been distributed to beneficiaries. These areas include NCR, Cebu, Davao, Dinagat Islands, Ifugao, Iloilo, Pampanga, Siargao, and Surigao.
Meanwhile, 63,600 meals and 11,714 food packs were served in affected areas in Visayas and Mindanao for Typhoon Odette efforts. Agusan Del Norte, Bohol, Cebu, Dinagat Islands, Eastern Samar, Iloilo, Negros Occidental, Negros Oriental, Palawan, Leyte, Southern Leyte, Surigao and Siargao are the areas reached by the Typhoon Odette efforts.
These were made possible through the contributions of Century Pacific, Coca-Cola, Dole Philippines, Gawad Kalinga, Johnson & Johnson, Jollibee Group Foundation, Manila Water Foundation, Metrobank Foundation, Mondelez, Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation, RFM, Ronald McDonald House Charities, San Miguel Corporation, Supply Chain Management Association of the Philippines, Tanging Yaman Foundation and Unilever.
On availability of food surplus and repurposing it through assistance, a food bank portal has been set up by this team where companies and groups can key in their food surplus to be distributed via the Assistance workstream. Through the collaboration of DOLE, Grab, San Miguel Corporation, URC, Scaling Up Nutrition and Supply Chain Management Association of the Phils., the goal is to establish an effective food banking system that will help supply and sustain food to communities in need.
Lahat kasali, lahat kasalo.
To date, the movement has reached more than 450,000 Filipinos across its four-fold mission where incidences of hunger and malnutrition are high.
In a recent PKG gathering, Task Force Zero Hunger Chair, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles shared that the hunger incidence in the country has improved. “The Philippines also improved its ranking in the 2021 Global Hunger Index. The Philippines ranked 68th out of 116 countries. With a score of 16.8, we have a level of hunger that is moderate. This is a notch higher than in the 2020 GHI when we ranked 69th with a score of 19.0,” shared Chair Nograles.
PKG invites every Filipino to help. Lahat kasali, lahat kasalo. Individuals may visit kaintayopilipinas.com for details and private corporations, non-profit organizations and groups who would like to be part of the movement may send an email to [email protected].