Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The Sandwich Heroes Project of the World Food Programme and Unilever

I was one of several who gathered at the Cilantro Kitchen of Unilever last October 24 for a blogger event for a cause.

The United Nations' World Food Programme and Unilever people were there to present to us their project that will involve feeding about 40,000 children in Mindanao via the Sandwich Heroes project. This project would also involve several food establishments which would contribute to the project with every sandwich bought at their establishments.

As a mother, I know how important it is for good nutrition for babies (even the unborn). During my pregnancies, I stopped taking coffee, watched what I ate, and regularly took in the vitamin supplements prescribed by my OB-Gyne. I knew that poor development and growth even in the womb would be irreversible.

Malnutrition in children can lead to permanent damage. Some of these are: impaired brain development, skinnier children, stunted growth and weaker immune systems. If you regularly watch episodes on TV Patrol, Bantay Bata 163, and other public service shows, you will notice that the poor people more often have children with medical conditions not seen in those who are wealthier.

World Food Day was just recently celebrated globally (Oct. 16 every year) so it was appropriate that this event was also the launch of a project that addressed food security.

We learned more about hunger, in the Philippines and worldwide during this gathering. Did you know that -

  • Worldwide, it is estimated that 925 million people will suffer chronic hunger in 2011 (according to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). About 12 million of these people live in the Philippines.
  • One-third of children who die annually die of malnutrition.
  • One in 7 people worldwide go to bed hungry every night. One out of every 9 children in the Philippines go hungry.
  • About 1 in 4 children under 5 years of age in the developing world is underweight.
  • Hunger kills more people than TB, HIV and malaria PUT TOGETHER!

Two slides shown us prove the devastating effects of malnutrition in children.

Watch this video from the World Bank for more statistics.

The partnership between Unilever and the World Food Programme aims to bring Unilever's reach beyond the chef's kitchen and bring hope to hungry children in Mindanao via Unilever's Sustainable Living Plan.

Every sandwich purchased from participating food outlets serves to make a contribution from you towards the Sandwich Heroes project. The establishments participating in these are:

Biggs' Diner
The Coffee Experience
JD Bakeshop
The Flying Pig
Holy Cow!
The Sandwich Guy
Wham! Burgers

At the event, Unilever laid out a wide array of sandwich ingredients from different kinds of breads to vegetables, dressings, cheeses, meats, spices, sauces and so much more. As I made my own personal sandwich which I called "Sinfully Healthy" (made of whole wheat bread, lettuce, tomatoes, olives, cucumber, blue cheese dressing, cheese square, chicken strips personally cooked by me), I kept thinking how luck I was to have this option of making my own sandwich tailor-fitted to my preferences. So many children did not even have the option to eat any kind of sandwich.

My "Sinfully Healthy" sandwich

WFP has also launched a Facebook page to keep us updated on their food program efforts. To join, please click HERE.

When Sandwich Heroes launches, please bring your family and friends to any of the establishments above, knowing that while you are eating, you are also helping towards feeding the children of Mindanao. Be a hero. A SANDWICH HERO!

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