Daily Dairy Milk Program
By Franceska Mungcal, Program Assistant
CPG-RSPo Foundation, Inc.
Last July 2021, we launched a new initiative, the Daily Dairy Milk Program, with seven (7) childcare organizations around Metro Manila. The goal is to help children aged 3 to 6 years old get the daily nutrients they need through healthy meals, exercise, and daily servings of Birch Tree Fortified Powdered Milk drink. Organizations included in the program are Asociacion de Damas de Filipinas, Gentle Hands Inc., Virlanie Foundation, Tahanan ng Pagmamahal, Grace to be Born, White Cross, and Hospicio de San Jose. All were happy to join us and looked forward to seeing the difference that the milk can provide to the kids’ height and weight over the course of 120 days.
One of the crucial things we had to consider during the planning process was the Milk Code – we had to make sure that we were not neglecting any of the rules the code had set. The product that we use is not marketed as a breastmilk substitute, and we had to be cautious of the children’s age range. Another concern was, of course, the current pandemic. We wanted to make sure that all the kids in the program were safe, with access to clean drinking water, and in an environment where adults can guide and provide them with healthy meals everyday. Aside from nutritious meals, we also encouraged the partners to give the children enough time for play and exercise everyday. Thankfully, all of these initiatives have been working out.
Before our program, some of the partner organizations were already providing milk to the children everyday, but with a different brand. After trying Birch Tree, they shared that it was what they recommended to buy for the children even after the program was over.
“Before, we were not using Birch Tree. But now, because we saw improvements on the kids included in this project, we continued giving Birch Tree to our children. I hope this is not the last time that you will include Tahanan as one of your partners and I hope you can still consider us in your future projects.” - Ms. Nila Valdez, Tahanan ng Pagmamahal
Part of the monitoring process in the program was tracking the children’s anthropometric measures at the end of each month. Most of those who participated showed significant results, and only one or two stayed under the normal BMI score at the end of the program.
We are truly overwhelmed by the support from CPFI Dairy Division, the partner organizations, and management who believed in the Daily Dairy Milk Program. We look forward to continuing the program and serving more children nutritious milk that supplement their healthy eating habits, and combat the malnutrition and stunting situation in the country.