Mondelez Philippines readjusts its adoption program to suit the needs of educational institutions in this health crisis

The pandemic had radically transformed our way of living. From our means of interaction to leisure and travel, the adjustments in our lifestyle are very much apparent, with some of these changes more serious than the rest. For public elementary schools, the main concern lies on how to continue with education, while facing the challenges of mobility, safety, and families’ limited resources.

With the further spreading of the virus, however, so does acts of kindness. As a longtime partner of public schools, Mondelez Philippines have been aiding schools rise up to the difficulties they are facing. For nine years, the snack company has been implementing what it calls the Joy Schools program, a school adoption project that started in 2011, which aims to care and supply for the nutritional needs of students through a nine-month daily feeding program.

This community partnership campaign also includes interventions for nutrition education, promotion of active play, teacher training, facilities improvement, and employee volunteerism. It has helped feed 4,500 undernourished students improve their health and overall well-being.

Balara Elementary School in H. Ventura St. Barangay Pansol
Quezon City

All these initiatives are aligned with the snack brand’s purpose to empower people to eat the right snacks. Since its launch nine years ago, Joy Schools hadadopted 16 schools nationwide, with three more added this 2020, namely Don Galo Elementary School and Fourth Estate Elementary School, both in Paranaque, and Balara Elementary School in Quezon City.

This year, a much greater threat than malnutrition is faced by the new batch of adopted Joy Schools—the Covid-19 health crisis.

With no face-to-face schooling in the foreseeable future for these educational institutions, the Joy Schools program had to evolve to serve the needs of the students and the campuses.

“We had to evaluate how to continue making an impact on our students’ nutrition and learning,” saysMondelez Philippines CGA country manager,Toff Rada. “While our daily feeding program is not feasible at the moment, we will shift to a different mode of delivering food to our adopted students, so they get much-needed nutrition. We arenow looking at bringing food packs of vegetables, rice, and other food items to them every week beginning in August,” he mentions.

“For Brigada Eskwela, we are assistingthe schools to prepare for this new normal of distance learning by providing additional printing materials, and sharing sanitation equipment,” Toff explains. BrigadaEswelais a nationwide initiative by the Department of Education (DepEd) that mobilizes thousands of parents, alumni, civic groups, local businesses, non-government organizations, teachers, students, and volunteers to do repairs, maintenance work, and clean-up of public elementary and secondary schools.“In the coming months, we have also planned to shift our employee volunteer activities to continue to harness the passion and support of our people in helping our adopted schools,” Toff concludes.

One of the many beneficiaries of Brigada Eskwela

Since the beginning of the pandemic, Mondelez Philippineshas been able to share 10,000 cases of its products to medicalfrontliners and communities in need through the support of 53 other organizations. More recently for Brigada Eskwela, to help prepare schools facing this “new normal” in education, the company gave snack products to 40 public schools in three Metro Manila cities, benefitting 3,500 teachers and school staff.

Deputy executive director of Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP), Elvin Ivan Y. Uy, commends the support of the snack company in these trying times. PBSP has been a partner of Mondelez Philippines since 2013 in bringing the Joy Schools program to life andin the many program enhancements with the company. “We understand this is a trying time for most industries, and we recognize the challenges in continuing a community program giventhe drastic changes in terms of mobility and logistics. That’s why we are very thankful for organizations like Mondelez Philippines who continue to support our students and schools.”

Through simple shifts in the way the Joy Schools program is implemented, the two companies with the rest of their partners hope that the initiative will inspire others. Now more than ever, it is important to extend help however and whenever we can. Even the simplest things like sharing food or supplies make a huge difference to another life, and to all of us in general.

Source: Manila Bulletin (