Palamantasan nutrition drive

Cheez Whiz PalamantasanIn an effort to bring attention to a serious social problem in the Philippines, Kraft Foods Phils. has undertaken a worthy corporate social responsibility project called Cheez Whiz Palamantasan ng Sarap, Sustansya at Saya. In coordination with the Department of Education, this nationwide campaign was launched in Davao City last 17 July 2010 to help address the problem of under- and malnutrition among Filipino children.

Palamantasan ng Sarap” — a witty play of words, don’t you think? The idea, according to Cheez Whiz senior brand manager, Paolo Serrano, is to make an educational campaign more fun so that kids will take to it and, thus, learn from it. If you take a look at the Palamantasan website, you’ll know what they mean by engaging kids in a way that’ll get their attention.

At the launching of Palamantasan in Davao, which was held at the Buhangin Central Elementary School, several local grade schools participated in competitions that were designed to create awareness of nutrition issues. There were the usual contests, such as the Sabayang Pagbigkas (group speech contest), cheering, and essay-writing. There was also a unique event called “Jarchitecture“, where participating pupils unleashed their creativity in crafting buildings or robots made of empty Cheez Whiz bottles and caps.

The contest that I liked, though, was the Mom & Child Sandwich-Making Contest. There were three teams that competed at Buhangin Central, and it was fun to watch the pairs (two mom-and-daughter and one mom-and-son teams) concoct fancy- and yummy-looking healthy snacks.

“These schoolchildren are at the stage of developing a sense of responsibility,” explains Serrano. “This is why we want them to realize the significance of proper nutrition themselves — through a series of fun, creative and learning activities.”

Studies by the Philippine government have shown that millions of Filipino children are malnourished. That’s why, among the poorer sectors of society, it’s not uncommon to see ten-year-old kids looking like they were barely six. This could stem from the lack of education about proper nutrition in many Filipino families. What Kraft Foods has started, therefore, is worthy of praise.

I hope that many more big corporations, especially those involved in the food industry, will take it upon themselves to help eradicate the country’s nutrition problems. Better yet, it would be great for other companies to get on board and make a pledge to theh Palamantasan initiative. It will ultimately benefit them, too, because they would be ensuring a healthy workforce for the future.

As for schools that aren’t yet part of the program, they would do well to urge their students to join Palamantasan. I remember when I was in Grade School, it was always fun to take part in those fun-filled activities that involved food. Little did we know that we were in fact learning from the experience already! As Palamantasan has reminded me, the best way to get kids interested is to get their attention through exciting and challenging activities — and with a full stomach in the mix, the Cheez Whiz Palamantasan program certainly concocted the best formula!

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2 Responses to “Palamantasan nutrition drive”

  1. Richard says:

    nice to see you again, blogie…

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