News Release

Church, DOH Reach Out to Talisay Communities Through Child Nutrition Program

The Talisay Philippines Stake (diocese) of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, in partnership with the Department of Health, and National Nutrition Council, hosted a Child Nutrition Program Screening and Assessment at Talisay Stake Center on Saturday, 22 October 2022.

The program aims to identify and eradicate malnourishment in the area since the healthy future of society depends on the health of today's children and their mothers.

James Aaron Perez, a Registered Nutritionist-Dietician, of the Department of Health, explained, "The first 1,000 days of a child (from pregnancy to two years of age) is a critical window for the development of each child's physical, mental, and emotional health. Therefore, preventing malnutrition helps each child have a positive outcome in the future, decreases susceptibility to common childhood illnesses, and promotes proper brain development."

Thirty-nine children between the ages of 0 to 5 participated in the Child Nutrition Program, along with pregnant and breastfeeding mothers. 

During the program, the kids played games in a specially designated playroom while parents and guardians received free medical services such as blood pressure testing. The Department of Health also distributed vitamins for pregnant mothers, including deworming medication and vitamins for the children.

Leonides Talara, of Lawaan Ward (congregation), brought her 2-year-old granddaughter to the program. Upon learning about the health status of her grandchild, she plans to apply what she learned from the program to ensure adequate nutrition is provided for the health and growth of her loved ones. "This Child Nutrition Program has had a huge impact on me, especially on my granddaughter's health and her future. I am grateful for all this information I have received through this activity," Sister Talara stated.

"It takes a village to raise a child, and miracles happen when a community works together," Brother Luis Camara Manoel, Senior Manager of the Church Humanitarian Services, emphasized his message to the parents. "You have a treasure in your hands. Your children are treasures. You are doing the Lord's work, guaranteeing their health and future by having the courage to be here. Self-reliance comes when their brains are fully developed and nourished. We are agents of change," he added.

Hon. Benjie A. Cabigas, Tabunok Barangay Captain, expressed his gratitude for how the Church is working alongside the barangay in providing spiritual and physical nourishment. 

The Child Nutrition Program

In May 2018, the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints approved a pilot to address child malnutrition among its members in developing countries. The following year, the Welfare Self-Reliance Executive Committee of the Church approved the steps to conduct screenings in the Philippines to assess needs and develop solutions.

The Child Nutrition Program (CNP) aims to determine the status of the Church's primary children aged 0 to 60 months and develop interventions to bring everyone to a healthy level. The program also aims to educate mothers and expectant mothers on various topics addressing proper nutrition for mothers and children. Through this initiative, local church leaders can collaborate with government agencies and non-government organizations to educate families on the effects of malnutrition and help them implement long-term solutions.

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