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Bacolod City, Philippines Thursday, August 20, 2020
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NVC steps up fight vs. hunger


The Negrense Volunteers for Change (NVC) Foundation today marks its 10th year by stepping up its campaign to fight hunger and poverty amid the COVID-19 crisis.

The foundation, amid the devastating effects of the pandemic on the economy, has embarked on three new projects that focus on food sustainability, in response to warnings from experts of worsening hunger worldwide, NVC president Millie Kilayko said yesterday.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres recently warned that many more people could slip into hunger this year as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

A Social Weather Station survey released Sunday showed that nearly half of the Philippines’ adult labor force was jobless in July 2020.

A National Mobile Phone Survey conducted by SWS from July 3-6, 2020, said adult unemployment in the Philippines rose to 45.5 percent, a 28-point increase from 17.1 percent in December 2019.

To provide long term self-sustaining solutions to hunger in marginal communities, NVC’s two new projects, the Gardens of Hope and the Pots of Hope, focus on helping provide access to food for urban communities, while the third, the Farmers of Hope, addresses concerns of small and marginal farmers, Kilayko said.

The Gardens of Hope project helps urban communities with access to empty lots do small-scale vegetable gardening by providing seeds, simple tools and technology to improve their own food supply and to improve income through the selling of excess produce, she said.

Pots of Hope helps marginalized communities in crowded urban areas develop edible container gardens primarily for internal food supply, and market access to sell excess produce, Kilayko added.

Farmers of Hope, meanwhile, will develop communities of small farmers in the countryside, providing both internal food supply as well as opportunities to take crops to market, she said.

To mark its 10th anniversary today, NVC is also launching its Junior NVC Team for ages 11-18, led by Martina Jacinto and Sophia Gonzaga as co-team captains.

The NVC Junior Teams will provide NVC with fresh inputs and action from the younger sector, Kilayko said.

The foundation is also launching MingoGOLD, a new product which is both a meal in itself for older children, adults and elderly, especially those with diminished appetites and a nutri-packed ingredient for dishes and baked goods, Kilayko said.

Like all other NVC products, it sources ingredients from local farmers, she said.

MingoGOLD is made with brown rice, orange camote, mongo, mango, milk, leafy vegetables such as moringa, malabar spinach and jute leaves, she added.

The version being introduced contains a little sugar for taste but a no-sugar-added version will also be launched soon. Variants added to the regular version are chocolate, banana, and ube, she said.

The foundation, in its 10 years of existence, has served children in need of proper nutrition, provided livelihood for their parents and relief during calamities in 45 provinces in the country, an NVC report showed.

NVC has served 11,622,119 Mingo meals to malnourished children and those in emergency relief centers, enrolled 30,467 children in its 6-month nutrition program, and served 12,728 children and adults through its Mingoy Food Shuttle bus.

In the realm of education, NVC has built 213 classrooms, most of these in hard-to-reach mountain villages and provided 7,402 Lovebags filled with school supplies to children in remote villages, many of whom belong to indigenous peoples.

NVC’s livelihood campaign that includes the Peter Project has provided 4,980 motorized fishing boats to fishermen, many of whom were victims of super-typhoon Yolanda, while its Project Joseph has provided livelihood tools to 837 unemployed individuals.

As part of its COVID-19 response, NVC has also produced and distributed 17,040 PPE lab gowns, 8,476 PPE face shields, and 4,643 face masks to frontliners battling the deadly virus.

It has also provided 6,294 Feeding Force meal bags to hungry families and served 468,441 Mingo meals during the pandemic, the NVC report showed.*


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