The #EndHunger Summit resumes in Cagayan De Oro City
Is it really possible to solve the problem of hunger and poverty?
Fr. Bievenido Nebres, former President of Ateneo De Manila University (ADMU) and one of the keynote speakers of the recent #EndHunger Summit-Visayas categorically answered said, “Yes, It’s possible. Our neighbors like Vietnam have done it. The question now is, are we serious about it? Let’s talk about it. We can start with at least cutting it into half.”
Gawad Kalinga Community Development Foundation Inc. (GK), a movement committed to end poverty is spearheading the discussion on how to eradicate hunger and poverty through a series of regional #EndHunger summits that aspires to encourage the private sector, various national government agencies, local government units, and legislative bodies to collaborate and work together in creating a caring and enabling environment that will confront head on the problem of involuntary hunger among the poor Filipino children.
The #EndHunger summit series that kicked off with the Visayas leg in Cebu, had its North Luzon leg in the city of San Fernando City in La Union, headed by its Mayor Hermenegildo Gualberto. It will then move on to Cagayan De Oro City for its Mindanao leg and then conclude in Legaspi, Albay for the South Luzon leg on June 16. The #EndHunger summit brings together an illustrious roster of speakers and sharers who will impart their insights and experiences from their own interventions to eradicate the problem of poverty and involuntary hunger. The summit has four sessions where the first session explains why we cannot end poverty without confronting hunger. As Fr Nebres, SJ stressed during the Visayas and North Luzon summits, the Philippines is the best-performing economy in ASEAN but it has yet to cut the poverty rate even by half, while its neighboring countries have done it by focusing on building capability through education and health. As he explicitly said, there is a deeper poverty in the lack of capability (kulang sa kakayahan). The second session shows the various working models of school-based feeding programs like Gawad Kalinga’s Kusina ng Kalinga (KnK) and Jollibee Foundation’s Busog Lusog Talino School Feeding Program (BLT). The panelists during this session are to shed light on how some organizations are able to scale up their feeding program through the establishment of central kitchens where the nutritious meals are prepared in big volume before they are delivered to the thousands of kids in schools, on the streets and even in disaster areas. The third session talks about the impact of these feeding programs on the children, their families, and the community. The summit concludes with the action planning session of the attendees by area clusters. The area clusters are to create specific action plans on how they can conduct their own feeding activity in specific barangays in their area that would best benefit from this kind of intervention.
As Mr. Jose Luis Oquiñena, GK’s Executive Director mentioned “when we feed our students, let’s be holistic and include severely wasted in schools & and on the streets. When we feed the hungry children, we are sharing Kalinga moments that are building their values and character.”
However, it is important to note that the solution to end hunger and poverty is not money. In fact, local government units have allocated budget for feeding that is yet to be utilized. More so if the Senate Bill 1279 Pagkaing Pinoy Para sa Batang Pinoy Act — a consolidation of the various bills proposed by Senator Honasan (SBN 23), Senator Zubiri (SBN 123), Senator Poe (SBN 160), Senator Trillanes (SBN 548) and Senator Aquino (SBN 694) gets approved in this next congress, it will make food available in public schools for 10M public school students in from Kinder to Grade 12.
Despite the increasing money, there are still many poor Filipinos who are still waiting hungrily. The feeding isn’t happening because there are human gaps that need to be filled.
Lastly, in the journey to end poverty, it is important to note what Mr. Mark Lawrence Cruz, GK’s head of New Initiatives shared, “it is not us who will end poverty; it is the poor themselves who will end poverty. And our role there is to be there for them to build that enabling environment. That’s why volunteers and institutions are important. The invitation today is to be able to share this message. Our enemy is so big. Our challenge is so big. That’s no matter how committed each and every one of us is if we do not band together, if we do not work together, we will always be defeated by this enemy called poverty.”
- Join the conversation during North Mindanao #EndHunger Summit on May 23 at Xavier University Auditorium, Cagayan De Oro City and on June 16 at Legaspi City, Albay.
- Donate to the feeding programs that will nourish the children’s health.
- Help fill in the human gap by volunteering at the KnK central kitchen near your area.
For more information on the #EndHunger Summit series or Kusina ng Kalinga program, you may email at [email protected]gawadkalinga.com.
The Speakers and Panelists of the #EndHunger Summit North Luzon.
From Left to Right: Hon. Mayor Hermigildo Velasco, San Gabriel, La Union; Mr.Jonathan Agngaray of Noble Trends Unbound; Ms. LA Cruzat of Jollibee Foundation; Dr. Divina Daligues-Velasco, Former of San Gabriel, La Union; Fr.Bienvenido Nebres, SJ, Former President of ADMU; Ms. Fatima Boada, DepEd Superintendent, San Fernando, La Union; Mr.Rafael Orpilla of NTU and Mr. Jose Luis Oquiñena, GK Executive Director