02/03/2016, 19.48
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For Card Tagle, 20 cents a day to save 25,000 children from hunger

In his pastoral letter for Ash Wednesday, the archbishop calls on the faithful to replenish the ‘Pondo ng Pinoy’ programme. Feeding children is a concrete act of charity in the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy, and a lot can be done with a little for malnourished children.

Manila (AsiaNews/CBCP) – In his pastoral letter for Ash Wednesday, Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle calls on Catholics to support a Church-based feeding programme for the country’s malnourished children. This year’s target is 25,000 children.

“It only takes Php 1,200 or ten pesos a day to bring back a hungry and malnourished child to a healthy state in six months,” the prelate writes.

As Ash Wednesday signals the start of Lent, this is a special occasion to “heed Pope Francis’ call to practice mercy through concrete acts of charity,” Card Tagle adds. Catholics are especially called to do good works, fast and pray, and feeding hungry children is a concrete act of charity in this Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy.

Card Tagle’s appeal is part of Pondo ng Pinoy (Funds for Filipinos), a broader charity programme launched in 2004 by Card Gaudencio Rosales, then Archbishop of Manila, to give Filipinos an opportunity to help others with as little as they can afford.

In 2012-13, the programme raised PhP 15.8 million (US$ 330,000). Most donations (PhP 7.9 million) came from the parishes in Metro Manila, followed by those in Malolos and Antipolos, with PhP 972,000 each.

The programme provides not only supplemental feeding, but also early childhood education, clothing and livelihood and skills training for parents.

Last year, donations provided more than 21,000 malnourished and undernourished children in the Pondo ng Pinoy member dioceses with warm and nutritious meals every day for six months.

This year, the cardinal said the programme’s goal is to feed 25,000 children.

Donations can be made through special (Fast2Feed) envelopes distributed in various parishes, during Mass, or be turned over to the parish office.

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