Cris Plate 4 Plate Zambrero

Cris from the Philippines’ story

Rise Against Hunger’s local Philippines partner International Care Ministries has served the ultra­poor in the Philippines since 1992. In the past few years, ICM’s community­ based, holistic solutions have reached more than 500,000 people living in poverty across the Visayas and Mindanao regions.

After ICM’s four­ month transform program, including a provision of meals distributed by Rise Against Hunger, participants experience a:

  • 95% increase in household income
  • 31% decrease in serious illnesses
  • 27% decrease in those going hungry at least once a week

When ICM found six-year-old Cris in a rural slum he had wasted away to 10.6kg and was severely malnourished.

Cris was weak, had low energy, his skin was dry, his face was pale and he had a bloated stomach. He also had very little appetite for food.

Cris’s father Ronald works as a fisherman. He earns only US$11 (PHP500) a week, not enough for his family’s basic daily needs. Cris’s mother Marissa is a housewife trying her best to care for Cris and his four­ year old brother, Joey.  No matter how much or how often she cleans their small hut, their floors are always dusty due to the unpaved roads. They do not have their own toilet, and share with their neighbour.

Cris and his four-year-old brother Joey were enrolled in their malnutrition treatment program (Home Based Feeding) where their mother Marissa was provided with Rise Against Hunger meal packs to feed the boys three times a day for eight weeks.

Each day, Marissa cooked at least a half a food pack. Sometimes, she turned them into porridge, or at times into regular rice meals mixed with eggs, sometimes into rice cakes.

At the end of the program, Cris achieved a weight beyond expectations of 15.9kg. He has become stronger, full of energy, his skin has improved, and his face has become bright.

Joey also gained weight, from 8.6 kg to 11.9 kg—a 3.3 kg weight increase.

Marissa is so happy that her boys’ health and wellbeing have greatly improved. “Thank you for the food packs, which helped my children recover from malnutrition!”

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