Typhoon season in the Philippines always makes me think of various comfort foods, hot and hearty meals to beat the wet and cold weather. In the last years or so, typhoon season seems to be lengthening, stretching into the months that used to be cold and dry. Last weekend, one of those typhoons hit Central Philippines and inundated many places with ferocious winds and colossal storm surges that obliterated not just infrastructures but also communities. Many died in the calamity, but for the survivors, their challenges have yet to end.
In this time, it’s hard to think of food without thinking of my countrymen from the affected areas who are facing an all-too real shortage of food.
I’m calling on everyone who might read this blog post to give to humanitarian groups or agencies. The World Food Programme accepts cash donations HERE. Cash is good but if you’re donating food items, give the basics, such as rice, instant noodles, canned goods, instant coffee, and the like. For the first few days post-disaster, it’s not advisable to give instant noodles because there might be a lack of ways to cook them. Canned goods should also be in easy open cans because can openers might be unavailable.
Through my Facebook news feed I learned that one formula used for packing food is the 1+2+3+1 formula, where 1 is a kilo of rice, 2 is 2 canned goods, 3 is 3 packs of instant noodles, and 1 is a liter of water. I think this is a day’s worth of food for 2 people.
The Philippine Department of Social Welfare & Development (DSWD) also released this infographic on what constitutes a family food pack, which is good for 2-3 days for a family of 5.
If you can’t donate, you can still participate by sparing some time. Help DSWD in packing these food packs. Repacking of relief goods is ongoing at DSWD-NROC, Pasay City. Interested volunteers can call 8512681 to schedule.
For those in Cebu, the DSWD Region 7 Field Office at MJ Cuenco Avenue Cor Gen Maxillom Ave, Brgy. Carreta, Cebu City is also conducting ongoing relief operations. Contact Rico Algarme at (32) 232 9509 for inquiries.