Last exposure, Malnutrition Community Health Plan project leaders Doc Nikki and Doc Ruby were able to spearhead a successful cooking demonstration using the team’s original recipe: Squash Patty. The idea of utilizing a nutrient-rich and obtainable ingredient for children’s healthy meals garnered several praise form the residents of Goin.
However, several poor families are still unable to acquire certain vegetables due to unavailability of vegetable seeds. Several children are still underweight, do not receive sufficient nutrients necessary for growth, and rely heavily on rice and small pieces of dried fish for daily consumption.
The need for a source of vegetable produce for these children was brought up during a barangay council meeting. The council has generously offered a plot of land near the health center where a community garden can be made. The owner of the plot volunteered to prepare the land and till the soil.
During a Family Development Session last August 10, Members of the Pantawid Program present were persuaded to join in the making of a community garden where vegetables can be planted and harvested thereafter for the consumption of children in the daycare center. The garden consisted of 5 plots and was divided among 5 Pantawid clusters: Clusters 1, 2, 3, 4, and IPs.
The day following the meeting, cluster members were seen bringing water cans and gardening tools. Fences were built out of bamboo around the garden plots, members of each clusters began tilling the soil and planting the seeds donated by Team GOINnovate. Various vegetable seeds were planted like, carrots, bell peppers, radishes, cabbage, tomatoes, and many others.
The dedication of the residents was astonishing. Even other clusters that lacked manpower received help from other cluster members. The planting of seeds only took less than 5 hours to complete and individual members were observed to be watering the garden in the mornings that followed. The team was able to see enthusiasm, solidarity, willpower, and commitment in the eyes of every resident then.
With the completion of the community garden came the commencement of the Feeding Program of the Daycare center on August 15. The medical team continued its collaboration with the Pantawid Program members. However, not much was done by the medical team due partly because of the impressive initiative of the 4Ps members. They, themselves have come up with groupings and schedules with regards to cooking duties and recipes.
The enthusiasm and commitment of the residents impressed the team so much that it did not take long for them to leave the residents to their own devices. Then and there, it was declared that an improvement on the children’s nutritional status would certainly be discerned at the end of 120 days and longer even after the first or second harvest of the community garden vegetables.