A large part of the ARK (Advancement for Rural Kids) program is devoted to expanding their school feeding programs.

Partner schools such as Bitoon Ilaya work with ARK to create a daily lunch program for the students.  The parents and teachers commit to serving a nutritious, organic lunch to all children on school days. The program is volunteer-run and requires lots of work and organization within the community, but the results are tasty and well-worth the effort!

I was able to observe the volunteer parents as they prepared and served the daily meal with the head cook.

The veggies are generally either picked from the school garden or donated by the community.

As a New York City dweller I have been lacking green space for many years. I still have a special love for soil and growing plants, something I was reminded of while visiting this rural section of the Philippines. I always love seeing how much food you can produce with a just a little bit of green space. -JESSIE