Saturday, July 13, 2024

Sun Life Foundation promotes food security and livelihood sustainability in Surigao del Norte

Sun Life Foundation promotes food security and livelihood sustainability in Surigao del Norte

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Sun Life Financial-Philippines Foundation, Inc. (Sun Life Foundation), the philanthropic arm of Sun Life Philippines, recently handed over two food sheds to the barangays of Caub and Halian in the fifth-class municipality of Del Carmen, Surigao del Norte providing better access to better nutrition and additional income for the locals.

Titled “Food Shed Farming Enterprise,” the project aims to provide the low-income barangays with improved food security and a sustainable agriculture-based livelihood. The turnover ceremony, held on May 10, 2024, was a key milestone in Sun Life Foundation’s ongoing collaboration with the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Philippines.

Situated on small islands west of Siargao, Caub and Halian have long faced challenges due to their remote location. The barangays rely on the main Siargao island and Surigao City for the supply of fresh produce, but distance renders the food supply chain vulnerable to disruptions such as extreme weather conditions due to climate change and lockdowns during the pandemic. The communities’ dependence on the fishing industry, whose yield varies by season, also poses a grave challenge to achieving food security.

The food sheds mitigate these challenges by using sustainable and highly replicable technologies. The project provides access to safe and quality food, thereby reducing the communities’ reliance on the main islands and improving local food security. It also augments the residents’ income, as produce from the food sheds can be sold to nearby communities through improved market linkages. The project also enhances the barangays’ climate resilience through the adoption of climate-adaptive green farming technologies including waste recycling, composting, rainwater harvesting, and natural pest and disease control. Additionally, the project provides financial education to reinforce the long-term sustainability of the agro-based enterprise.

The food sheds are the result of the Sun Life Foundation’s enduring commitment to promoting health, especially in remote areas. The project directly benefits 250 individuals by providing produce and livelihood. It also indirectly benefits 2,943 barangay residents by giving greater access to fresh and locally produced nutrient-rich food.

It is Sun Life Foundation’s mission to uplift the lives of marginalized Filipinos. Through projects like the “Food Shed Farming Enterprise” that foster health, education, and environmental sustainability, the Foundation seeks to build a brighter future for every Filipino.