Food stamp program to aid 30K families in Negros Occidental

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By Rjay Zuriaga Castor

In a bid to reduce hunger among low-income households by 2027, a total of 30,000 families in Negros Occidental will benefit from the government’s anti-involuntary hunger program.

The “Walang Gutom 2027: Food Stamp Program” (FSP) of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) will be initially implemented in the province this July, according to DSWD-6 Director Atty. Carmelo N. Nochete.

Nochete said the program targets “food poor” families whose income cannot secure an adequate and nutritious diet.

“We have already hired staff to support the implementation. The validation on the ground is ongoing, especially to identify those who qualify for the program,” he added.

The FSP provides a holistic approach to combat involuntary hunger by providing beneficiaries with access to monetary-based assistance.

Qualified beneficiaries will receive Electronic Benefit Transfer cards with P3,000 worth of food credits to purchase items from accredited retailers, such as the Kadiwa ng Pangulo project of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.

Nochete explained that the retailers will sell healthy food items in a combination of 50-30-20: 50 percent for carbs, 30 percent for protein, and 20 percent for fruits and vegetables.

“We will not only provide financial assistance but also teach them how to plan their diet,” he emphasized.

The DSWD-6 director said Negros Occidental was chosen by its central office as one of the pioneer recipients of the program based on the Listahanan, or the National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction.

The Listahanan is an information management system that identifies who and where the poor are in the country.

“Poverty in Negros Occidental is prevalent,” Nochete said.

He added that the FSP will be a continuing program, which will be scaled up after a year and implemented in other provinces in the region.