Food for 100, Ice Cream for 1,000!


I attended a reader sponsored feeding at the Banawa Elementary School in Cebu the other day and here are some of the photos. It was sort of a special event as it signaled an extension of the feeding program through the end of the school year in 2009. Over 100 kids were included in the feeding program which had a little extra Christmas twist…


Kids waited patiently for the adults (that was us) to get their acts together. And while there was only seated table space for 60 or so, another 50 or so ate with plates on their laps.


I brought along some 10 of our office crew and personal crew, one of our lawyers also joined us, and we helped serve up the food that was prepared by the parents of the children, to suggested guidelines of rice, a protein source and vegetables. Fruit for dessert, which we managed last year, is just out of the budget these days.


There were large meatballs in a delicious sweet and sour sauce (I know, because I tasted them!)…


…and steaming cauldrons of meat based broth with green leafy veggies and carrots…


Most of the kids ate with great gusto, and several asked for refills on rice which was offered until the three humongous rice cookers worth were all gone…


Kids who were deemed severely underweight for their age, from the youngest in the school through a few in grade 5 and 6 participated in the program. We provide three hot meals a week for each of 100+ students, representing roughly 10% of the that public school. Approximately 30% of that school would qualify for a feeding program but there just aren’t enough funds so we picked the most underweight children instead.


Many of these kids don’t look outrageously undernourished, but in person they clearly are, and in many cases, kids who are say 11 or 10 are in grade 1 or 2, several years behind where they should be chronologically. I always think the Teen in the household needs to add on a few pounds, but trust me, she is quite well-nourished compared to these kids…


At the end of the feeding we brought along a small Christmas giveaway for each of the kids in the program, a small keychain with flashlight…


…but the real treat of the day was just about to begin. Waiting in the school yard were two sorbeteros, the entire contents of their carts we donated along with 1,000 cones so that we could give almost every single child at the Banawa Elementary School a lunchtime ice cream treat. Flavors on board were ube, macapuno/pandan and mango…


Long lines formed and the poor sorbeteros had to scoop hundreds of cones one after the other!


The looks on the kids faces after they got their cones was universally gleeful… sugar and joy are clearly intertwined.


One kid stepped away from the cart and in slow motion, watched his long-awaited ice cream jump off his cone and land on the ground below. Believe it or not, I knew instantly what he was thinking and could see he was about to burst into tears so I ran over and brought his cone back to the sorbetero to be filled again. It happened to me when I was a kid, and it was the worst ice cream memory I retain to this day! :)


The mixture of ice and salt that the sorbeteros use to pack their ice cream in was incredibly cold. The ice cream remained wicked hard and was difficult to scoop out in such rapid succession.


But the kids waited patiently, the crew attempted valiantly to help scoop out the ice cream, and we somehow managed to serve some 700-800+ cones in less than an hour!


Part of the crew that helped with food distribution, crowd control and scooping…


…and more of the crew watching the kids get their cones. A huge thank you to the ladies of the school PTA who helped organize the actual cooking of the food. A huge thank you to our family office crew for participating in the program. A huge thank you to our own crew who go along with all of my whacky ideas. And finally, a huge thank you to all of the readers who have given so generously so that we can continue to sponsor programs such as this. I am definitely feeling the real spirit of Christmas now…


29 Responses

  1. This is a great post to inspire me for tomorrow’s pick-up of ornaments at Salcedo Market. We know that the money is wisely spent!

  2. wow…. such a very nice gesture, indeed! ice cream is a real treat!!

    merry, merry christmas, MM and family! your family is truly blessed. keep it up!! :)

  3. “One kid stepped away from the cart and in slow motion, watched his long-awaited ice cream jump off his cone and land on the ground below.”

    Good save MM! Your doing good work here! Keep it up!

  4. Australian Red Cross has the ‘Good Start Breakfast Clubs’ which provides healthy breakfast every day to primary school kids in areas of greatest need around Australia.

    I envy you as you are able to get something done for these kids and the community.

  5. Haaay… warm fuzzy feeling without putting on socks and a thick jacket…. thank you again MM for that post on the BDO account.

  6. Good thing no one’s home…looking at those pictures I can’t help but sing BLESS THE BEAST and the CHILDREN…by Karen Carpenter?

    Oh, and that kid whose ice cream fell? Haven’t we all experienced that at one point in our lives…I remember what he felt, too!

  7. I’m touched by this one.=) It is a sure way to start the Christmas season by giving a part of the blessings people recieved for the year.

    Very inspiring.=)

  8. With the waft of meatballs in sweet, sour sauce and veggie soup and piping hot steamed rice and surrounded by your peers in a joyful atmosphere — it invites the appetite. The ice cream cart is a blast in my grade school years. I was always anxious it’s dismissal time and rushed with my friends to Mamang Sorbetero. I’m tsismosa do you serve the kids with breakable dinner plates?

  9. After the stampede at a Wall Mart store trying to get to the door first and crushing a store employee to death in the process is a stark contrast to the undernourished Banawa school kids who patiently waited their turn. I am about to choke.

    You are a big guy with a big heart MM. And thank you too for allowing us to participate in your feeding program.

  10. Bless your good heart, MM, for spreading cheer to those kids and for warming our hearts, too. You’ve touched not just their lives but ours, too and I wanna thank you for that. Merry Christmas!!!

  11. MarketMan, thanks for organizing this and posting the event. I was actually very curious about what the kids would be eating :) Very fulfilling to see they enjoyed their meal.

  12. So heartwarming MM and family….you are continually being blest because of your generous and loving heart. God bless you!!


  13. Everytime I read about this feeding program I cant help but cry for joy, for gratefulness, but also for sadness. How can our government be so amiss that our children have become the poor victims of their callousness!!!! Thank God for people like you and the readers who have contributed to this worthy cause – at least something is being done for the children.

  14. It really is sad that those children don’t get to eat enough…I do participate in feeding programs and all the effort and resources in doing the feeding program is worth it when you see the children’ happy faces! Keep it up MM and crew!

  15. Keep it up!… makes me cry reading articles about this…much more seeing this pics….the joy in the eyes of the children….I SALUTE YOU MM! despite the success, wealth and comforts in life that you have… never forget to share with others your blessings! thank you for this blog(which has become a favorite of mine,even my very good friend mayel in nyc loves this site!)

  16. I’ve been going thru your blogs( since your first one) for the last two weeks and have really enjoyed reading them. I found your site thru a distant relative of mine who blogs as well. Anyway, this is my first post and……really this story of yours brought tears to my eyes. I knew it…I knew that there are still good people out there ready and willing to give a hand, especially to these poor children. I just wish there are more of you out there, lalo na yung mga nakapuwesto na opisyal. They should learn from people like you. I don’t want to go too much into that discussion ( some other day perhaps)but I wish you more power and best of luck. I, along with your many readers look forward to many more blogs of yours to come. Sarap ng lechon series..:-)

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