Feed the Hungry, Inc.’s (FtH) signature program, “GG” as it is fondly called at FtH, has evolved through our twenty five years of implementations, to one program that has always kept us in touch with folks all over the Philippines, and yes, to the many places that have us travelling by air transport, car, jeepneys, buses, trucks, pump boats, ro-ros, tricycles and using our super feet for walking a few miles!!!
But, the journeys, though at times hard and rough, are always overshadowed by the instant smiles we see on faces of folks who meet us; the cheers we receive because we did take the time to visit them; and the affirmation that we, FtH, are but the hands of thousands of our kababayans in the United States who have never forgotten to help and reach out to them … all priceless and more so, give us the strong energy to keep coming back!
For a quarter of a century, GG projects and activities are undertaken to address the immediate needs of the so many underprivileged people-poverty-stricken families, orphans, sick children and children with disabilities, senior citizens-such as shortages in food and sanitation supplies, school supplies, and other basic necessities. These are also short-term stop-gap measures meant to lead communities to self-sufficiency while recovering from calamities or confronted with long-term problems due to poverty. Implementation efforts are carried out by FtH volunteers in coordination with various non-governmental organizations, local government units, Department of Social Welfare and Development offices, and other private organizations and individuals in the Philippines. FtH volunteers pay for their own travel and board and lodging expenses.
Early 2016, the Gift-giving Program reached out to a total of almost 2,300 families and individuals:
• 1,150 families – vetted and pre-selected by government social workers as very needy
(a) 100 informal settler families in Little Payatas, Quezon City
(b) 250 informal settler and transient families in Sitio Kamalig, Brgy. Carmen, Silang, Cavite
(c) 800 poor film worker families in Cubao, Quezon City
• 670 students and teachers – from schools with FtH-built classrooms
(a) 104 special education (SPED), students with disabilities from Rosario Elementary School, Cavite
(b) 100 students of Magtuod High School, Talomo District, Davao City
(c) 450 students of Sto. Nino dela Paz Elementary School, Loon, Bohol
(d) 16 teachers of Sto. Nino dela Paz Elementary School, Loon, Bohol
• 150 orphans and sick children – from a reputable shelter for abandoned and terminally ill kids
(a) 100 orphaned babies and youths from Kalipay Negrense in Bago, Bacolod City
(b) 50 children with cancer from House of Hope, a temporary, transient home in Bajada, Davao City
• 120 abandoned, homeless, and neglected senior citizens
(a) 70 elders housed at St. Vincent’s Home run by Daughters of Charity in Tangub, Bacolod City
(b) 50 elders at Home for the Aged run by Missionaries of Charity in Agdao, Davao City
• 200 mothers and children vetted and pre-selected by community leaders
(a) 100 poor mothers and 100 children in a squatter resettlement site in Dagupan, Pangasinan
Last year marked the 7th year that FtH has implemented a Gift-giving Special Project: assistance to Laura Vicuna-Home for Sexually Molested Girls. This project provides these special girls at the home with gifts for school and housing needs, personal hygiene, medical and food assistance. For a special treat in 2016, the girls were surprised with a special day out to a mall to shop for blouses, pants and a pair of shoes, and then dine in a restaurant of their choice accompanied by their benefactors and sponsors. The girls had a great time, and so did their special chaperone benefactors and sponsors! A really good day it was for all!