For Jona, a 34-year-old mother of three young children, nutritious food is absolutely vital in her household, yet access to food is often one of the biggest challenges her family faces. Jona lives in lloilo, a city located in the southeastern tip of the Panay island in the Philippines. Jona stays home to care for her family while her husband, Romel, seeks work as a painter and a farmer whenever he can find opportunities.
Two of their children, Kaithlyn and Kenlie, have enrolled in Rise Against Hunger partner International Care Ministries’ Home-Based Feeding program, called Transform. Prior to entering the program, Jona’s family primarily ate vegetables — including lupo — which we might recognize as weeds or grass.
“Life is very hard for us, but I pray we can eat well every day,” said Jona. Although she has had many setbacks in life, Jona is confident that the addition of Rise Against Hunger meals to Kaithlyn and Kenlies’ diets will help them reach a healthy weight.
Pastor Rodne is the leader of International Care Ministries’ Transform program. He shares that overall, the Rise Against Hunger Meals provided through the program have benefited the community. Community members are now able to save the money they would normally spend on food, while simultaneously building a better future for themselves.
Pastor Rodne shares that he has seen children thrive through the Transform program, and hopes the same for Jona’s children. When first introduced to Jona, Pastor Rodne admired the effort she made to provide for her family, yet recognized the need for them to enter into the program.
“Before, Kaithlyn was very thin and weak, but when the International Care Ministries program intervened, she became energetic and I can see that she has gained weight. I wish them good health and a blessed future,” said Pastor Rodne.
Providing meals through programs like Transform helps to break the cycle of poverty where it begins. Supporting recovery from malnutrition for young women like Kaithlyn and Kenlie gives them the opportunity to focus on things like getting an education and preparing for the future.
With the provision of Rise Against Hunger Meals, Jona will be able to save the family’s money to purchase additional protein for her family, like fish. She shares, “I am so thankful for these meals.”