Jose Mariano “Jomar” Fleras, Stop Hunger Now Philippines’ Executive Director, describes his organization’s mission as similar to that of Gota de Leche’s: “Like Gota, SHN’s mission is improve the nutrition status of children.”
Stop Hunger Now Philippines, together with dozens of volunteers from different local organizations and CSR teams, put together over 30,000 meal packs containing rice, beans, dried vegetables and vitamins for malnourished children in Manila, Bulacan, and the provinces of Cebu, Iloilo and Capiz. The successful meal packing event was held last May, yet its effects are still being felt in these locations, by the people who need them most: women and children.
In an interview with the Philippine Daily Inquirer, Gota de Leche’s managing director Anna Leah Sarabia said that “If you [nourish] the mothers, you’d be able to save the country, as well as the younger generation.” With a history that stayed true to this statement despite wars, internal and external obstacles, and operational problems, the institution is grateful for partnering with like-minded organizations like Stop Hunger Now.
Gota de Leche’s medical staff keeps careful track of their young beneficiaries’ weight and health conditions. In turn, Stop Hunger Now Philippines monitors improvements in the children’s weight and body mass index. They are often observed within 3 months of feeding. The meal packs prepared for them have already reached Iloilo and Cebu, and close monitoring of any changes in the beneficiaries’ health and nutrition will be done next month when Gota’s staff and volunteers return to these provinces.
When asked why Stop Hunger Now chose to partner with Gota de Leche, Jomar replied: “Partner NGOs must have a history of implementing feeding programs. The prospective partner must also be approved as donee of the donor.” With over a century’s worth of feeding, strictly implementing its programs, and directly addressing the nutritional needs of children and their mothers, Gota de Leche became a logical and worthy candidate of SHN’s program.
Fortunately, the shared vision-mission of these two organizations helped cement their feeding goals for the future. “Stop Hunger Now intends to make Gota a regular recipient of its meal packing program,” the Executive Director emphasized.
The officers, staff, and volunteers of Gota de Leche would like to extend their heartfelt gratitude and appreciation to Stop Hunger Now Philippines for coming up with practical and creative ways to help spread the milk (and meal packs!) of human kindness.