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By: John Maico M. Hernandez

A total of 473 ‘undernourished’ children from the municipalities of Laurel and Talisay, Batangas benefitted from the Enhanced Nutribun (e-Nutribun) Feeding Program which lasted for four months, from August to November of this year.

The feeding program is a partnership project of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) CALABARZON through Provincial Science and Technology Center - Batangas (PSTC-Batangas), CDO Foodsphere Inc., and Odyssey Foundation, Inc. (OFI) aimed at combatting the malnutrition problem in the two municipalities. CDO Foodsphere Inc. through OFI became interested on extending assistance to undernourished children of these two municipalities after adopting the e-Nutribun technology of the Food and Nutrition Research Institute of DOST (DOST-FNRI).

The e-Nutribun is the improved version of the nutribun during the 70s. DOST-FNRI conducted a research to reformulate the bread to help address malnutrition and answer the call of the Department of Social Welfare and Development’s (DSWD) Memorandum Circular No. 12 Series of 2020, or the Guidelines in the Implementation of the Supplementary Feeding Program During Community Quarantine or Other Similar Emergencies. The enhanced version has more micronutrients like iron and vitamin A and has a softer texture. It weighs 160- 165 grams per piece, which is easier for children to hold and bite. Each serving weighs 160-165 grams per piece, has 504 calories, 17.8 grams protein, 6.08 milligrams iron and 244 micrograms vitamin A.

The two municipalities were identified as project sites upon considering their need for interventions after the Taal Volcano eruption in 2020. CDO Foodsphere Inc. through OFI tied up with DOST CALABARZON under the latter’s program called “Community Empowerment thru Science and Technology for Disaster-Stricken Areas in Batangas Province” which is geared towards helping the two municipalities among others to attain socio-economic recovery through science and technology-based interventions. A memorandum of understanding between DOST CALABARZON, CDO Foodsphere Inc., OFI, and beneficiary LGUs was executed to formalize the partnership.