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Noodles out in food packs for calamity victims

Rainier Allan Ronda - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - Noodles have been removed from family food packs that the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) distributes to calamity victims.

The decision was made and implemented a few years ago to make family food packs nourishing, Maricel Deloria, DSWD Disaster Response Assistance and Management Bureau (DREAMB) chief, said.

Tedious issues in storage and spoilage of noodles led to the decision, she added.

In experiencing problems with spoiled noodles last 2014 when Mayon Volcano in Albay began acting up, the DSWD started removing noodles from family food packs, Deloria told reporters when asked to comment on a tabloid report of a food relief pack containing expired noodles being distributed in a disaster area recently.

“In fact, the Secretary (Corazon Soliman) issued a memorandum when we changed the composition of our family food packs. No more noodles. Only 6 kilos of rice, coffee, (canned) sardines, corned beef and sometimes we put cereal,” she said.

“In fact, right now, we are coordinating with the FNRI (Food and Nutrition Research Institute) and the National Nutrition Council to study the nutritional content of each family food pack. They were the ones that had also recommended the removal of noodles because it does not have the relevant nutritional content to maintain and address the nutritional needs of the families in evacuation centers.” 

Coordination with FNRI and the NNC had led to an effort to make the rice content of food packs to be iron-fortified, Deloria said.

“The coordination is continuing,” she said.

“We are now trying to improve or increase the level of the iron content in our family food packs. The NFA (National Food Authority) has been calling for inter-agency meetings so we can cooperate with each other and we can include iron-fortified rice (in the food packs).”

However, this might again lead to worries among recipients of family food packs that the iron-fortified rice is of poor quality, Deloria said.

“It will have a strange color, this is because it has iron. It will not be the usual rice that is white, that we prefer to have and eat,” she said.

 

ACIRC

CORAZON SOLIMAN

DELORIA

DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL WELFARE AND DEVELOPMENT

DISASTER RESPONSE ASSISTANCE AND MANAGEMENT BUREAU

FAMILY

FOOD

FOOD AND NUTRITION RESEARCH INSTITUTE

MARICEL DELORIA

MAYON VOLCANO

PACKS

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