It’s hard to imagine that we have just completed the fourth CONSECUTIVE and UNINTERRUPTED year of marketmanila.com feeding programs for undernourished public school children at a school in Taguig and another school in Cebu. I have lost count of the total number of meals provided, but it is probably between 140,000-150,000 complete meals. Many thanks to the generous donations of readers of marketmanila.com, large private donors like the restaurant Mamou that have provided phenomenal support every year, Marketman’s family and friends. It’s a program that has really meant a lot to me and my family, but more importantly, to the students/recipients of the meals provided. It is absolutely PROOF POSITIVE that from small ideas, kernels of inspiration, the collective power of a relative few (perhaps 400-500 donors total) generous people, we were able to deliver what is a fairly staggering number of meals. This blog is roughly 6.5 years old (2,400 days), so another way to look at this is that we managed to provide a nutritionally complete meal, completely free of charge, every 23 minutes (or 62 meals a day, every single day) for 6.5 years! :) And less than 1/10th of 1% of all the visitors to marketmanila.com (who have read 10 or more posts) donated to the feeding program…
Our crew, the Teen, Mrs. MM and I recently visited the feeding program in Taguig and took these photos. The Teen cooked/baked something for the kids (spaghetti one day, cupcakes another) in addition to their regular meals. She was a bit overwhelmed when she realized spaghetti sauce for like 150 people is a massive amount of stuff to stir, not to mention the noodles!
Readers may not recall this, but Marketman actually got inspired to sponsor these feeding programs after The Teen, then The Kid, was involved in a feeding program in Grade 5 or 6 at the age of 10 or 11. At the time, her task was to come up with a nutritionally balanced meal for PHP15 or less and we spent time in the kitchen experimenting with dishes. So she’s been at this longer than I have! But we find it useful to revisit the schools as often as possible to remind ourselves that the vast majority of the Philippine population is not getting a sufficient quality and variety of nutritional intake…
All of the kids on these programs are classified as being SERIOUSLY underweight for their age. They receive three full meals per week, more if the budget allows.
All of them wish to express their gratitude and thanks to the generous donors from marketmanila.com, and I can tell you, they mean it from the bottom of their hearts. Unfortunately, this marks the end of the marketmanila.com feeding program for now. The administration, collection of funds, disbursement, monitoring, etc. took a lot of effort, far more than I had envisioned. And several staff helped me in this endeavor and we feel it is time to move on to other things, charitable ones included. I encourage readers to pursue simple basic charitable endeavors whenever possible… they do indeed make a difference.
I was out of town when we received a call that Marketman, on behalf of his readers, was invited to the recent awards ceremony at the Tenement Elementary School to receive a plaque of appreciation. I sent a representative instead, and he accepted the plaque above on behalf of all the generous donors to the marketmanila.com feeding program. This is how we do things around here. No flashing lights and PR releases. But 150,000 full meals in four years. That’s pretty darned good for a commercial free food blog with an occasional service rant/outburst. Pat, pat, pat on everyone’s collective backs. Maraming, maraming salamat!!! :)