SAN JOSE, CAMARINES SUR – In anticipation of the World Food Day celebration on October 16, the Department of Agriculture in Bicol provided food assistance that delighted some 100 indigent families from this town.

The food distribution was in compliance to a Memorandum issued by Engr. Ariel T. Cayanan, DA Undersecretary for Operations, directing the conduct of preparatory activities in line with the World Food Day celebration such as the provision of food assistance to the 41 families in the poorest provinces of the country based on the 2018 Philippine Statistics Authority data. Masbate, Eastern Samar and Zamboanga were identified as the poorest among the provinces in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao, respectively. But in consideration of the increasing number of COVID-19 cases in Camarines Sur and the number of DA workforce who will be crossing the strict border of the island province of Masbate to facilitate the food distribution, the DA Bicol management opted to conduct the event in San Jose, Camarines Sur which is also a 4th class municipality. The beneficiaries came from the barangays of Sabang, Danlog and Bagacay.

Held on September 28, 2021 at the spacious covered court of Sabang Elementary School, the event kicked off with a short briefing and compliance of health protocols such as temperature check and disinfection of hands with alcohol.Each family received 1 sack rice, 10 kilos of assorted fruits and vegetable, rootcrops, canned goods, dressed chicken, coffee, sugar, powdered milk and 1 liter fresh milk. The High Value Crops Development Program also provided each family with vegetable garden starter kit consisting of vegetable seeds and 1 set garden tools to encourage the recipient families to grow their own food.

Though their faces were covered with masks, their smiles were still evident as they went from table to table to present their claim stubs and collect each good. DA Bicol Field Operations Division chief Dr. Mary Grace DP. Rodriguez, who led the food distribution, said that the event was a nationwide activity of the Department of Agriculture to highlight its quest for food security and safety so that no Filipino family will be hungry. She also emphasized the importance of planting short term crops in every family’s backyard to sustain food production.

This is the 41st celebration of the World Food Day . This year’s celebration revolved on the theme: “Our actions are our future. Better production, better nutrition, a better environment and a better life.” (Lovella P. Guarin / DA RAFIS 5)

Photo credit: Jun Collantes, Ramon Adversario and Zandra Abogado