The Problem

Payatas is home to the Philippines’ largest garbage dumpsite, currently 6.1 hectares in size. It is also home to approximately 120,000 young children, many of whom are malnourished. The MEALenium Project wants to help with this problem.

The Cause

The MEALenium Project has been feeding 30 children on a daily basis (Mondays to Fridays) in St. Benedict, Payatas since August 2015. This year, The MEALenium Project had added a daily feeding program for 600 wasted/severely wasted* children in Lupang Pangako Elementary, Payatas through a partnership with Department of Education – Quezon City Schools Division, Office of the Vice Mayor of Quezon City and Jollibee Group Foundation. Recently, The MEALenium Project has reached a milestone of serving 1,000 meals a day to malnourished* children in Payatas. (*Based on World Health Organization BMI standards.)

Our Focus on Payatas:

Children in Payatas live near the largest garbage dumpsite in the Philippines. Most of them are from the most impoverished families, with parents who have no means of livelihood except to scavenge the nearby garbage site. The families often do not have enough money to feed their children properly.

From birth to age 5, the development of the child’s brain is at its peak. Getting the right amount of nutrients and calories to fuel this developmental process is crucial. Research has shown that malnutrition in infancy and early childhood can significantly hamper the development of children. It can lead to stunted physical growth and smaller brain sizes, resulting in intellectual deficits, learning weaknesses, and even poor socialization with peers- difficulties that can persist throughout adolescence and into adulthood.

Our dream is to give the children of Payatas a fighting chance- that, through our feeding program, their bodies and minds can be given the opportunity to develop more optimally; in turn, this can strengthen their capabilities as students and learners, and later, as workers and parents. That, through this humble endeavor, we hope to initiate a momentum of growth, development, improvement, and ascension, which can eventually, hopefully, serve to lift the children and their families up and out of the vacuum of poverty.