STRAIGHT FROM THE FARM. The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) will acquire fresh farm produce from agrarian reform beneficiary groups in Albay to supply food to several district hospitals in the province under the Enhanced Partnership Against Hunger and Poverty (EPAHP) program. Jerome Culumna, DAR-Albay information officer, said on Monday (July 18, 2022) the program will provide income to the farmers while giving proper nutrition to the patients. (PNA file photo by Liza Agoot)

LEGAZPI CITY – The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) will tap the services of agrarian reform beneficiaries organizations (ARBOs) in Albay in supplying food requirements to several district hospitals in the province under the Enhanced Partnership Against Hunger and Poverty (EPAHP) program.

In a phone interview on Monday, Jerome Culumna, DAR-Albay information officer, said the program will provide income to the ARBOs while giving proper nutrition to the patients.

"In a recently conducted meeting with the provincial government of Albay with Governor Noel E. Rosal and Engr. Maria Eugenia M. Alteza, DAR Albay reform program officer, the linking of several district hospitals in the province with ARBOs aims the goal of improving hospital meals and increasing patients' intake of locally produced farm foods," Culumna said.

He said the EPAHP program is under the Task Force on Zero Hunger as contained in former President Rodrigo Duterte's Executive Order 101.

"The EPAHP program seeks to mitigate hunger, ensure food nutrition security, reduce poverty in urban and rural communities, including marginalized communities and establish sustainable agriculture by 2030," Culumna said.

Engr. Maria Eugenia M. Alteza, DAR-Albay reform program officer, in a statement, said under the scheme, the farmers' groups will provide fresh, readily available, and nutritious vegetables to hospitals to meet the daily nutritional needs of the patients in these institutions.

"Sourcing food from local farms through the DAR’s EPAHPP may benefit institutional customers and their families, farmers, the local community, and the economy," Alteza said. (PNA)