Malnutrition plagues societies around the developing world including the Philippines. Poverty is a key driver to the prevalence of malnutrition, affecting families from the bottom of the pyramid since their access to a balanced diet is limited by the meager resources they have.
The root causes of malnutrition are generally preventable given the right nutrition education that unlocks possible options for poor families to gain access to a balanced diet.
Unilever Philippines, through the Knorr Lutong Nanay Nutrition Program, helps in addressing malnutrition in the Philippines. The program empowers mothers by showing them how to prepare delicious and nutritious home-cooked meals that are within their limited budget.
“Learning about the situation of the residents here has led us to understand that their circumstances leave them with little opportunity to provide their kids with proper nutrition,” said Ed Sunico, Vice-President for Sustainable Business and Communications at Unilever Philippines. “With all the struggles they deal with, we want them to count on our Knorr Lutong Nanay Nutrition Program for their children’s nutritional needs.”
One of the beneficiaries of the Knorr Lutong Nanay Nutrition Program, a 26-year-old first-time mom, brought her five-year old daughter Kyreen to the feeding program.
“I heard about Knorr Lutong Nanay from the Baseco Center where the invitation to bring our kids came from,” said Paulino. “My husband and I are both unemployed. It’s a daily struggle for us to make ends meet. While we are seeking jobs, it’s usually my mother who takes care of my daughter but today, I brought Kyreen here to seek support from the feeding program.” She adds “I also learned how to make better choices on the food I prepare for my family without hurting our limited budget”
Mamulintao, a 44-year old mother of three, also participated in the Knorr Lutong Nanay Nutrition Program, bringing with her her eight-year old son Datu Haey.
“I’ve long been a beneficiary of community feeding programs, and I know firsthand how they can help me and my children. I even used to bring my daughter to Unilever’s projects, and she was able to leave the undernourished state and became normal. The program also gave me the nutrition training I need to sustain my family’s need for a better diet”
Nancy Pillado from Parola 4, brought her four-year old grandson Khen Khen with her.
“I take care of him while his parents are both at work. We often comment on how thin and underweight he is for his age. We decided to bring him to Knorr Lutong Nanay because we want him to be strong and healthy,” said Pillado.
The Knorr Lutong Nanay Nutrition Program in Baseco and Parola is a collective effort of Unilever Philippines, Kabisig ng Kalahi, the Manila Department of Social Welfare, the Mayor’s Office of the City of Manila, and the officials of Barangay 649 (Baseco) and Barangay 20, Zone 2 (Parola).
“Kids need to be protected from the threats of Malnutrition especially in their developmental years. Our partnership with Unilever helps us in fulfilling our mandate as a social welfare agency” said Benita Tanyag, officer-in-charge of the Manila Department of Social Welfare. “The goals of the Knorr Lutong Nanay Nutrition Program are very much aligned with our standards, operating for the 120 days necessary to improve the nutrition status of the beneficiaries.”
Manila City Mayor Joseph Estrada expressed his gratitude to the organizations behind the Knorr Lutong Nanay Nutrition Program during its launch last March 2, at the Delpan Sports Complex in Tondo, Manila.
“We are very thankful that Unilever reached out to the young Manileños who are here today,” said Estrada. “We will be closely monitoring the program and its success. The City of Manila will provide the resources needed to make this happen.”
In a speech addressing the mothers and local officials of Baseco and Parola, Uael Canoy, senior assistant brand manager of Knorr at Unilever Philippines, said: “We wish to share with the families of Baseco and Parola what the Knorr Brand believes in and what it stands for. We can’t afford a future generation of Filipinos who are hindered from reaching their full potential. The Knorr Lutong Nanay Nutrition Program is here to feed children the chance to aspire for a brighter future, and mothers a fighting chance to cook up a more flavourful and enriching experience for their family.”