COTABATO CITY – More than 100,000 children in public schools in the Region 12 have benefitted from the Supplementary Feeding Program (SFP) implemented by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), a social worker reported Saturday.

Jane Blessy Manguray, supplementary feeding program focal person of DSWD 12, said in a local radio interview that the beneficiary-children included those in the province of Maguindanao, a component province of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

Region 12 is made up of the provinces of North Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, South Cotabato, Sarangani and the cities of Cotabato, Kidapawan, Tacurong, Koronadal and General Santos.

Manguray said North Cotabato had the highest number of beneficiaries with 34,693 school children.

They were provided with daily nutritious supplemental food in schools since the start of the classes his year.

She said the 120-day supplemental feeding program aims to improve the nutritional status of school children, many of them in daycare centers across the region.

Manguray explained that the SFP is the provision of food, in addition to the regular meals, to children currently enrolled in daycare centers. It is part of the DSWD’s contribution to the Early Childhood Care and Development (ECCD) program of the government.

The food supplement includes hot meals served during break time in the morning session or in the afternoon session to children in Day Care Centers (DCCs), and Supervised Neighborhood Play (SNP).

Manguray explained that parents actively participated in the program because they managed the prepared meal cycle using available local food supplies.

Close monitoring follows after a month to determine improvement in a child’s weight as compared to their weight prior to the SFP. (Edwin Fernandez/PNA)