Finding ways to address hunger among kids during the pandemic? Look at Malabon’s KKC, a proven and timely nutrition program

June 24, 2020

The crisis brought by the health pandemic will affect the most vulnerable sectors of our society—including kids under three and the lactating moms. Both of them need the most help with correct nutrition, most especially for proper brain development during a child’s first 1,000 days. 

This moment, however, is not a time to implement or test just any kind of nutrition program. Time is of the essence as the economic impact of the pandemic reaches the economically-challenged sectors. LGUs and groups must immediately implement a nutrition program that has a proven record of success, showing the largest and most compelling impact, with a long-term viability which can be easily replicated by the most number of barangays.

That program is called “Karinderia Para sa Kalusugan ni Chikiting at Buntis” or KKC. This program, started by the Malabon LGU in 2018 by Mayor Lenlen Oreta, is one of the most awarded and cited nutrition programs by the National Nutrition Council (NNC).  

“The pandemic will greatly affect all of us, especially the low-income families of our nation. One of its grave effects will be the rise of malnutrition, especially among the kids,” said Mayor Oreta. “With the success of the KKC program in Malabon, where our city’s stunting rate fell to 5.84% in 2018 from a double-digit figure four years ago, the program can be replicated by other LGUs, who need all the help to recover from this Covid-19 crisis.”

In essence, the KKC has a different approach to the traditional feeding programs. This is the first of its kind as it ensures program sustainability since it considers both the providers (livelihood and income for small karinderias in every barangay) and the beneficiaries (those in need of nutritious food).   

With the success of the program in Malabon, other LGUs and organizations inquired about the KKC. They visited Malabon, did benchmarking trips, and met with KKC stakeholders. Thus, Mayor Oreta, with Malabon Nutrition Action Officer Chef Melissa Oreta, decided to create a “Manual of Procedures” for the program.

“We began creating the KKC manual because we wanted it institutionalized here in Malabon. But with so many inquiries and requests for a program demo from other groups and cities, we decided to make the manual more presentable and user-friendly, so that it can be used as a useful reference,” said the mayor.

The KKC Manual of Procedures was supposed to be presented to Dr. Apet Dayanghirang, Executive Director of the NNC, during the Summit on Scaled-Up Actions for Nutrition last March 27. Even though it was postponed to a later time due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the KKC manual will now be available, which is timely as nutrition programs must be effective and cost-friendly to implement.  

“We heard that an LGU in Bohol was interested in adopting the KKC. With the effects of the pandemic felt economically and health-wise, this is the perfect time to share this manual to them with the hope that it can encourage more LGUs and organizations to make their nutrition programs more effective,” said Mayor Oreta.

Aside from an extensive portion which details the procedures on how to implement the KKC, the manual includes info about manpower composition, budget computation, and monitoring and evaluation. There are even sample guides for doing proposals, sample service agreements, etc. A copy of the KKC Ordinance, approved last February by the Malabon City Council, is also part of the manual.

“We truly hope that this manual can help our country make milestone improvements to fight malnutrition. We all need to come together and treat this as a national emergency and a preservation of our future, especially as the effects of the pandemic stays on,” said Mayor Oreta. “KKC may be a Malabon concept, but we want to share it to the rest of the country, where it can bring more hope and more health to those who need it most.”