By Mai Mislang*
Our shared humanity forces us to be generous amidst great adversity. The Philippines knows this all too well, having to bear the brunt of an average of 20 typhoons a year. Citizens can instantly rally support through donation drives online, and off. Our allies from other countries are quick to lend their resources, and have become long-standing partners in our effort to rebuild constantly. Everything moves swiftly when lives are on the line.
But what about the quality of the assistance urgently needed for temporary relief? Could it be compromised by the speed at which we collect and move food, clothing and other basic necessities from Point A to Point B, C and D? Do donors think about the helpfulness of goods donated, or are they easily satisfied by their mere gesture of charity?
I would like to think that they do – we ALL do – because what we should aspire for is to help other people regain their ability to help themselves.
One method of reaching out purposefully to those in need is through a highly nutritious rice and lentil formulation called VitaMeal. One (1) bag of VitaMeal contains 30 meals for 30 kids and costs P1,150 ($27). Each child that eats VitaMeal is guaranteed these essential nutrients:
- Vitamin A – essential for normal sight and immune functions
- Bone nutrients – enhance normal growth and skeletal development
- Zinc – reduces the duration and severity of childhood diarrhea
- Electrolyte – maintain normal fluid balance and muscle function
VitaMeal is a food product with a good 2-year shelf life that is affordable and easy to transport. It is the perfect in-kind donation for big companies with CSR programs and individual donors looking for a more meaningful substitute to boring holiday presents.
By donating VitaMeal, you know where your money is going. You know it is going to help children. And you know it can help prevent malnutrition even after disasters strike.
But by donating VitaMeal through Feed A Kid Initiative, you also know that your donation is going directly to communities in the Philippines hit hardest by natural calamity, malnutrition and extreme poverty. The people behind Feed A Kid Initiative, such as yours truly, have at least 9 years experience working in government and with non-profits, and can course donations through reliable connections.
Feed A Kid Initiative is a project, not an NGO, that supports the goals of Nourish The Children (NTC). Most NTC beneficiaries are in Africa, while Feed A Kid Initiative focuses strictly on undernourished children in the Philippines.
On September 17, 2016, only two days after the Feed A Kid Initiative page was launched on Facebook, a call for help was issued for the province of Batanes, which was hit by the eye of Super Typhoon Meranti, which would have qualified as a Category 6 hurricane. Coconut and other fruit trees were felled, so a months-long supply of food is absolutely necessary. Feed A Kid Initiative then directed all VitaMeal donations toward the Batanes relief effort, especially for the critical months of September and October.
On September 30, 2016, a total of 30 VitaMeal bags were secured through the generosity of donors here and abroad, most of who are close friends familiar with my public service background. In just 13 days, Feed A Kid Initiative was able to produce 900 highly nutritious meals for the children of Batanes.
This shows how much good work can get done when you do not have to rely solely on government to do the work for you.
If you wish to make a contribution, you may choose from the following:
(1 bag)* = PhP1,150 / USD 27
(2 bags) = 2,300 / 54
(5 bags) = 5,750 / 135
(10 bags) = 11,500 / 230
(50 bags) = 57,500 / 1,150
(100 bags) = 115,000 / 2,300
*1 bag = 30 meals
Please send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org once you have made your choice so we can send you payment options.
The dream of Feed A Kid Initiative is to feed and nourish children of the Philippines sustainably so that they may grow up healthy and smart. A regular supply of at least 1,000 sponsored VitaMeal bags every month would be ideal to address not just nutritional needs in times of disaster, but also those in every kid’s early formative years.
Please tell your friends about us and like Feed A Kid Initiative on Facebook. It is time we give those in real need something of value, not just what is easy. If you were in their shoes, would you not want the same?
VitaMeal is an innovative solution to a social problem that allows the private sector to efficiently act on what government is expected to do. It’s a win-win situation for everyone. With VitaMeal, corporations, companies and individuals are able to do their part by spreading the love to our children, one bag at a time. That leads to a healthier, smarter and better future for us all.
* Mai Mislang is a former government official during the term of former Philippine President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III. She served as his speechwriter and was Assistant Secretary/Chief of Staff at the Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office (PCDSPO) in Malacanang, Manila. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Tourism from the University of the Philippines – Diliman, and a Master in Public Administration from the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. She is also the lead singer of Manila-based blues band, The Blue Rats. She hopes to help more underprivileged Filipinos overcome poverty through social entrepreneurship and mentorship.