DoST provides food aid to Ilokano frontliners, families


Aug. 31, 2021 ...

As Ilocos Norte currently grapples with its worst outbreak since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic last year, the Department of Science and Technology (DoST) was one of the earliest government agencies to boost the province's crisis mitigation efforts by sending science and technology-developed food aid to frontliners and families affected by wide-scale lockdowns. 

On August 16, DoST Regional Office 1, through its Provincial Science and Technology Center-Ilocos Norte, handed 1,000 packs of Nutribun to the Provincial Government of Ilocos Norte (PGIN). The snack, which was re-formulated by DoST-Food and Nutrition Research Institute, was immediately distributed to frontliners deployed in high-risk areas.

In addition, 2,500 kilos of iron-fortified rice was donated on August 19 to ensure the sustenance of the most vulnerable families living in cities and municipalities that were placed under localized ECQ due to the continuous surge of COVID-19 cases.

Dr. Armando Q. Ganal, Regional Director, instructed Provincial Director Benjamin S. Mercado, Jr. to facilitate the turnover of donations to PGIN. 

"We want to help our kailians and show our support for PGIN by simply providing what our agency already has. Our science and technology-based products are easy to prepare, and, most of all, preservative-free and nutritious, "Mercado remarked.

Recently, almost 4,000 pouches of "arroz caldo" (chicken porridge) were turned over to PGIN in support of the food distribution to frontline workers in hospitals as well as those who are staying in quarantine and isolation facilities.

He said the DoST-developed food products will not only aid the Ilokano community during the occurrence of typhoons but also in times of unprecedented crisis.

"We would like to also encourage our kailians to eat healthy while on lockdown. That is why we would like to help in the best way we can," Mercado ended.