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Enjoying a snack or sharing your food to your friend or love ones is very common to Filipinos. But sometimes eating what our body needs like healthy food is one of the things we often take for granted because of the lifestyle that we have.
But for many Filipino children and their families, access to nutritious meals is a constant struggle. Satisfying hunger is one thing; ensuring that the food is nourishing is another challenge altogether. This nutrition gap can lead to deficiencies that deprive a growing child’s body of proper nutrients needed for growth and brain development.
According to data from UNICEF, two of the main micronutrient deficiencies are iron and iodine. Iodine is vital for normal growth and tissue development. Lack of iodine can contribute to brain damage that is otherwise preventable. It is most devastating during fetal development and the first few years of a child’s life.
Iron helps carry oxygen around the body, and is especially vital for the brain and blood. Iron deficiency is the “most common and widespread nutritional disorder in the world.” Anemia, which occurs when red blood cells do not have enough iron-rich protein known as hemoglobin, can be detrimental to a child’s physical and cognitive development. It can also affect their productivity as adults.
Recognizing this need, local snack manufacturer Rebisco is pitching in to help make a difference in the lives of young Filipinos.
For every purchase of a Rebisco Cracker 200g handy pack aptly dubbed Pasobra Pack, Rebisco allocates a portion of the proceeds for the production of specially fortified biscuits. These ‘nutribiscuits’ are formulated with much-needed micronutrients—particularly iron and iodine—that help equip school-age children to be physically healthy and mentally active.
Rebisco has teamed up with the Department of Science and Technology-Food Nutrition Research Institute (DOST-FNRI) to develop these nutritious biscuits, formulated to address the micronutrient deficiency problem prevalent in indigent communities.
“Rebisco products are meant to be shared,” Rebisco President Jonathan C. Ng said. “As Filipinos, our culture of sharing goes beyond our immediate families and circle of friends. We want to tap into this giving spirit and enjoin our consumers to make something as simple as snacking count for something that makes an impact on the lives of Filipino children.”
Rebisco recently unveiled this advocacy program via the Department of Education (DepEd) Caloocan Division’s Oplan Kalusugan Program. The first batch of specially fortified biscuits was turned over during the launch event held at Bagong Silang in Caloocan, where Rebisco also set up a sampling booth for residents and students.
For the current academic year, Rebisco is providing nutribiscuits, supplemented by main meals from DepEd, to a total of 871 students from Grades 1 to 3 in three Caloocan-based public schools: Bagong Silang Elementary School, Gabriela Silang Elementary School and Sto. Nino Elementary School.
“We’ve been creating well-loved biscuits for over five decades now, and we want to be able to lend our expertise to a greater cause,” Ng added. “As a proudly homegrown brand, we are committed to doing our part to empower this country’s future generation of Filipinos. With the continued support of our consumers, we are confident that we can truly make a difference.”
For the month of July, Rebisco has produced enough nutribiscuits for 1,120 children that will cover 120 days starting the 2019 school year. The snack food giant is continuously working to increase this number to help feed more children. Every purchase of the Rebisco Crackers Handy Pack is equivalent to one biscuit for one school day. Check out facebook.com/RebiscoCrackersPhilippines for more information.
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