In support of the Gulayan Program of the Provincial Government of Bulacan and the Department of Education (DepEd) in Central Luzon, Monsanto Philippines and Tabon Elementary School recently opened the Gulayan sa Paaralan at the campus of the said school in Pulilan, Bulacan, Monsanto provided over a thousand vegetable seedlings to address short-term hunger and make balanced meal more accessible among public school children.
The Gulayan sa Paaralan Program is a national effort of DepEd that directs public schools to set up and maintain a school vegetable garden as a source of ingredients for the school-based feeding program (SBFP), which further aims to improve the nutritional status of the beneficiaries by at least 70% at the end of 120 feeding days.
In support of the Program, employees of Monsanto Philippines in Pulilan led the turnover of approximately 1,800 transplant-ready vegetable seedlings. Thirty pieces of trash bins were also given to the school to improve the waste management and segregation program of the school. Monsanto Plant Manager Maricris Palarca said that Monsanto hopes that through this effort they’ll encourage families of students to have their own home gardens so that nutritional improvement is carried beyond school.
“Every child deserves a balanced and nutritious plate. As an agriculture company, we support every initiative that enhances the nutritional status of public school children by providing healthy plant variants that contain valuable vitamins and nutrients that children need. We are pleased to be a significant partner of the DepEd to forward its Gulayan sa Paaralan and School-based Feeding Program,” Palarca shared during activity.
Meantime, to further spur public awareness and action on malnutrition, the company also conducted a special digital storytelling of the animated children’s book Lina’s Town Rises Again, a story of a female farmer from Sultan Kudarat who helped her town successfully recover from a devastating typhoon through the use of modern and sustainable farming methods Pelarca added that the story-telling activity aims to encourage young people to give more importance on how food is grown and consumed.
The school teachers were grateful to Monsanto Philippines for selecting Tabon Elementary School as a beneficiary of its community program. They were empowered by Monsanto’s support to improve classroom attendance, children’s health, as well as nutritional values and behavior of students.