Packs of Nutribun featuring Senator Imee Marcos’ name on the label were spotted being distributed at a social aid program in Cebu earlier this week.
Residents of the town of Consolacion, who lined up for the Department of Social Welfare and Development’s (DSWD) Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situations program, received the bread that was distributed by the office of the senator, who was also at the event herself.
Photos of the Nutribuns featuring the senator’s name circulated on social media, with many users critical of the attempt to score political points using something that should actually stand as a reminder of the widespread poverty and malnutrition during the regime of her father, Ferdinand Marcos Sr.
First introduced in the 1970s, Nutribun, a dense, nutrient-rich bread, was distributed by USAID Nutrition to elementary school feeding programs across the Philippines in an attempt to fight child malnourishment. Despite its foreign aid origin, social media disinformation efforts have continued to credit the Marcos administration with launching the school feeding programs during that time.
In July 2020, the Department of Science and Technology revived the Nutribun program of the ’70s to curb child malnutrition during the height of COVID-19. They called it E-Nutribun (short for enhanced Nutribun), with kamote or sweet potato and carrot variants.