Gota de Leche recently provided nutrition support to pregnant and lactating women in Ifugao and Benguet, north of Manila. The program – named Seeds, Beads and Meals for Moms (SBFMM) – was made possible with partnerships with Sun Life Philippines and the Igorota Foundation, Inc.
With alliances such as those, Gota is able to bring its various programs to the provinces – even to remote, landlocked areas. In May and June 2019, Gota provided nutritional support to pregnant and lactating mothers in Mayoyao, Ifugao, and Bokod, Benguet. These stops where just two of a planned four service days planned with the Igorota Foundation. In addition to Mayoyao and Benguet, the groups plan to assist mothers in Kibungan, Benguet and Tinoc, Ifugao, as well. None of these would be possible without the generosity, expertise, and assistance of Sun Life Philippines and the Igorota Foundation.
First Stop: Mayoyao, Ifugao
The first service day under the Seeds, Beads and Meals for Moms was held in Mayoyao, Ifugao on May 27. Sudden rains and minor landslides, coupled with the high cost of transportation, made it difficult for the beneficiaries to the venue. But Anna Leah Sarabia, Managing Director of Gota de Leche, arranged for transportation to take beneficiaries from the market to the venue. A total of 25 beneficiaries (20 lactating moms and five pregnant women) made it to the venue.
The day started with a brief introduction to the program from Igorota’s project coordinator Louella Mae Laudio, RSW and community organizer Jenilyn Pag-gui. Anna Leah also spoke to the beneficiaries. She specifically mentioned that Seeds, Beads and Meals for Moms was a campaign against stunting and malnutrition, and not just a feeding program.
A total of 250 rice packs of various flavors were provided, in addition to 25 bottles of multivitamins, 250 packs of various seeds, 25 preloved clothes, and pastries. Anna Leah gave special instructions on how to prepare these meals. Dra. Luz Escubi also provided basic check-ups to the beneficiaries, and gave general health advice.
Second Stop: Bokod, Benguet
The second stop of the program was at Bokod, Benguet, and was held from June 2 to 4. As with all stops, the program was held in cooperation with the Igorota Foundation and Sun Life Philippines.
A total of 26 moms received assistance on these service days. They each received 10 rice meal packs which are good for two months, prenatal vitamins good for six months, and six kinds of seeds suitable for planting in backyard gardens.