MANILA, Philippines–Ahead of the Catholic Church’s observance of Ash Wednesday on Feb. 18, Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle appealed to the faithful to practice acts of charity and fasting to help feed hundreds of thousands of hungry and malnourished Filipino children this year.
In a statement, Tagle encouraged Catholics to participate in the archdiocese’s Fast2Feed program, a Lenten campaign that urges people to fast and donate the money to be spent for food to the Hapag-Asa program.
Hapag-Asa is a church- and sector-led initiative and part of the Pondo ng Pinoy movement to combat hunger and malnutrition among children in the country’s poor urban and rural communities.
“If we fast and let the poor, hungry and undernourished children benefit from it, we relive what Jesus said, ‘I was hungry and you gave me something to eat,’” said Tagle, who is expected to issue a pastoral statement on Ash Wednesday, underscoring the importance of heeding God’s call to pray, fast and practice c
Tagle reported that the Fast2Feed program was able to benefit 150,000 children in the areas ravaged by Supertyphoon “Yolanda” and another 20,000 children through the six-month Hapag-Asa feeding program last year.
The poor children were provided with warm and nutritious meals five days a week for six months while their parents were given values education and access to livelihood, he said.
“But our effort to help our poor, hungry and undernourished children does not stop there and has to continue. There are still millions of our children who are suffering from hunger, stunting and undernourishment, and are in need of our love and assistance,” said the cardinal.