Mingo Nutrition Program supports 59 undernourished kids in Iloilo City

By Mariela Angella Oladive

Led by former Senator Franklin Drilon in collaboration with the Iloilo City Government under Mayor Jerry P. Treñas and the Negros Volunteers for Change (NVC) Foundation, the Mingo Nutrition Program was officially launched on December 12 at Jaro Covered Gym, Jaro, Iloilo City.

A total of 59 identified malnourished children aged 6 to 59 months from Barangay Calahunan, Calumpang, Navais, and San Juan are the beneficiaries.

In an interview, Drilon underscored malnutrition as a national concern deserving proper attention and funding.

“I have volunteered to join this program to raise funds for Iloilo City and Iloilo province. This is how we want to showcase that we can address malnutrition here in Iloilo,” he said, emphasizing that the project is a purely private sector initiative without the use of public funds.

With the aim of combating malnutrition in the region, the beneficiaries will undergo a series of feeding programs where they will regularly receive Mingo meals facilitated by the Barangay Nutrition Scholars.

Manufactured by NVC, the Mingo meal is a nutritious instant complementary food made from locally sourced rice, monggo, and malunggay, also available in chocolate, ube, and squash flavors.

Rosa Jane Tibares, a mother of two, whose four-year-old child is one of the beneficiaries, shared her thoughts on the program.

“Manami ni sya nga programa para sa aton mga kabataan nga malnourished kay tungod gapadugang ini sang sustansya sa ila,” she told Daily Guardian.

Millie Kilayko, president of the NVC Foundation, explained that apart from providing Mingo meals to children, the program will also include quarterly monitoring of their overall health. In addition to medical check-ups, the children will receive incentives in the form of food vouchers, and the mothers will undergo wellness counseling as part of the program.

Barangay Nutrition Scholars will also receive incentives for each child who achieves the targeted improvement in their nutrition status.

Kilayko added that the program has been running for thirteen years, boasting an 88 percent success rate in the first quarter in Iloilo City.

The program has also already extended its assistance to beneficiaries from Iloilo province, covering areas like Badiangan, Carles, Calinog, and Lemery among others.