Wednesday, October 18, 2023

In 2023, Mega Prime Foods Inc. strengthens the MBS Program, prioritizing a holistic nutrition journey for kids

The Launch of this year's Mega Bigay Sustansya, the sustainable nutrition program by Mega Prime Foods, Inc. (MPFI), a subsidiary of Mega Global Corporation. This program aims to provide a holistic approach in helping ensure that Filipino families and children get the nutrition they need. 

Mega Prime Foods Inc. (MPFI) is preparing for another year of its ongoing and influential Mega Bigay Sustansya (MBS) program, which started on October 18. This year, MPFI, in collaboration with the Mega Tiu Lim Foundation (MTLF), has established significant partnerships with organizations and government agencies that share the common goal of addressing the persistent issue of malnutrition among Filipino children.

MPFI has strengthened these crucial partnerships through the formalization of Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs), which play a vital role in advancing the multifaceted objectives of the MBS program within specific communities. Notably, one significant MoU was established with Reach Out and Feed Philippines, Inc. (ROFP), a long-standing partner responsible for program facilitation. Concurrently, the Department of Education Region 8 (DepEd R8), Department of Education Region 4A (DepEd R4A) and European Chamber of Commerce through MOSEP for BARMM play vital roles in beneficiary identification, school and stakeholder coordination, and program-related facilitation. While their roles are technically similar, they are specific to target schools in their respective regions. DepEd R8, DepEd R4A and ECCP, alongside ROFP, work closely with MPFI, demonstrating a shared commitment to improving the nutrition of Filipino children and communities.

Ms. Michelle Tiu Lim-Chan, Mega Global’s CEO

MPFI has also partnered with the Food and Nutrition Research Institute (DOST-FNRI), a collaboration that started last year. DOST-FNRI plays a crucial role in guiding the development of the 120-day, once-a-day meal plan, which incorporates MEGA sardines as the primary protein source for identified beneficiaries. They assess these meals according to nutritional guidelines and provide a structure for 16 training activities aimed at educating parents, teachers, and children about nutrition. While ROFP handles meal development, DOST-FNRI's expertise ensures the meals meet nutritional standards.

These synergistic partnerships are set to enrich nutrition and empower communities in the specified regions.

Since its inception in 2019, this sustainable nutrition initiative has been meticulously crafted to empower Filipino families with the essential knowledge and resources necessary to ensure optimal nutrition for their children. As a prominent provider of high-quality and affordable food products, MPFI remains loyal in its dedication to enhancing the health and well-being of Filipino households through the enduring MBS program.

Mr. Marvin Tiu Lim, Mega global's Chief Growth and Development Officer

Data from the 2013 National Nutrition Survey (NNS) revealed that 29% of children aged 5–10 years were considered underweight. This prevalence is significantly lower compared to 2011 (32.0%). However, it is still considered a public health problem.

The survey also noted that the proportion of overweight and obese children increased by 1.7 percentage points from 2011 (7.4%) to 2013 (9.1%). The same nutritional indicators says energy and micronutrient intakes among school children are inadequate were also studied by the Department of Science and Technology’s Food and Nutrition Research Institute (DOST-FNRI) in2021. Such that the Department of Health also recently said that the rate of malnutrition in the country among infants and toddlers is still high at 20%.

Dr. Milflor S. Gonzales, Chief Science Research Specialist OIC, Office of the Director

The study further showed that undernourished school-aged children were found to have high protein inadequacy. Higher consumption of grains and cereal products, meat, and high-quality protein foods was associated with a lower risk of stunting.

MPFI's Mega Bigay Sustansya 2023 addresses a critical issue by enhancing our program to benefit school children. While our core mission remains unchanged — improving children's health through nutritious meals — we've tailored our approach for students. We recognize that proper nutrition and education are deeply interconnected. Well-fed children can focus on their studies more effectively, leading to better information absorption and overall academic performance. This is especially significant as we partner with DepEd to fortify this vital connection.

Ms. Helen Grace Baisa, Regional Director, ECCP Vice President

MBS 2023 emphasizes the importance of affordable and accessible nutrition sources. In a time when access to nutritious food is vital, MBS seeks to bridge the gap by promoting options that are within reach for Filipino households.

As Mega Prime Foods Inc. continues to expand its portfolio of high-quality, value-for-money food products, MBS 2023 stands as a testament to its commitment to the Filipino people. It's more than a feeding program; it's a journey towards better health, education, and accessibility for all.

Thus, this year, Mega Bigay Sustansya is taking a comprehensive approach to nutrition, addressing the needs of both parents and children.

The cornerstone of the program will be the School-Based Feeding initiative, spanning 120 days and reaching elementary schools in Sto. Tomas, Batangas; Quezon (Lucena, Sariaya, Caluag); Tacloban (Tacloban City, Tanauan, Ormoc); and Bangsamoro Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (BARMM). This vital program will cater to children aged 6 to 12, delivering nutritious meals underpinned by brands like Mega Sardines, Mega Tuna, and Mega Prime Quality.

MBS will use a Nutrition Assessment Module that will empower area coordinators and volunteers with precise measurement skills, data analysis prowess, and result assessment acumen to ensure accurate assessment of the children’s progress throughout the program.

MBS 2023, transcending the conventional model of a feeding program, takes a holistic approach. We're reaching out to educate families through teacher-children-parent workshops, offering Basic Nutrition and Meal Management training to teachers, parents of beneficiaries, and the beneficiaries themselves. This training equips them with the tools and knowledge to sustain the nutrition strategy beyond the program's duration. Additionally, Community Programs enhance our impact, providing face-to-face basic nutrition and cooking workshops for families. These workshops empower parents and teachers with vital knowledge, and for young beneficiaries, engaging activities foster camaraderie and learning, enriching their nutritional journey.

Volunteerism also takes centerstage as Mega Prime Foods Inc. relaunches the Mega Employee Immersion Program. This initiative encourages employees to actively participate in CSR areas, partake in kids' graduations, and contribute to the overall success of MBS.

A unique opportunity also awaits the topmost improved graduates, who will embark on a transformative Mega Sardines Museum Experience. This immersive visit will impart insights into the production of canned sardines and affordable nutrition sources, as well as the important work that goes into manufacturing food. This experiential tour will cement their basic knowledge of food nutrition and why it is important for growing children.

Mega Prime Foods Inc. remains loyal to its mission to make a meaningful impact on Filipino nutrition through the Mega Bigay Sustansya program. By adopting a holistic and sustainable approach, involving all stakeholders, MBS aspires to nurture healthier children and families across the nation, fortifying its commitment to a healthier and stronger Philippines.

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About Mega Prime Foods Inc.:
Mega Prime Foods Inc. is a leading provider of high-quality and value-for-money food products in the Philippines. The company offers a diverse range of products, including canned sardines, tuna, fruits and vegetables, cooking aids, frozen foods, and beverages. Mega Prime Foods Inc. is dedicated to enhancing the health and well-being of Filipino households through its nutritious and accessible food offerings.

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