Second Harvest Asia (2HA)’s sister organization, Food Bank Philippines (FBP) distributed fresh okra to those in need in Manila from Oct. 2012 through July 2013. 2HA recently conducted evaluation of the project and visited 10 partner agencies to assess the impact of the project.

The monsoon hit the Philippines in August, and when 2HA Executive Director Yusuke Wada arrived at Manila on the 22nd the water had already receded, but rivers were much higher than usual, and some parts of the country were still being affected by the disaster.

Dept. of Social Welfare and Development.

Many volunteers helped the government’s rescue operations at DSWD (Dept. of Social Welfare and Development)’s warehouse.

As part of 2HA’s evaluation project, we interviewed Project Pearls as well. We also helped Project Pearls’ food distribution in an informal squatters’ area.

Even right after the calamity, 10 of our partner agencies agreed to meet with us and provided feedback regarding our food distribution project. FBP coordinated okra deliveries 44 times during the season largely thanks to LBC Foundation, who provided generous pro bono services of transporting the food. Without LBC Foundation’s help, FBP could not have done this.

On the ground.

The food LBC delivered to Manila were picked up by our 16 partner agencies including Philippine Red Cross, Don Bosco Pugad, Dynamic Teen Company, GKonomics and Caritas Manila. There were 67 pick-ups by those agencies in total. The total weight of the okra picked up was about 7 metric tons.

Yusuke interviewed 10 agencies for feedback and here are the scores they gave FBP.

Quality of okra: 4.6 / 5.0
Convenience of picking up okra from FBP: 3.1 / 5.0
Communication with FBP’s staff: 4.75 / 5.0

While we are very happy that our partners were content with our okra, we learned that we need to work to make the logistics easier for them. Also, we heard that as much as okra is nutritious and healthy, they need other types of food such as rice and noodles.

We will keep expanding our network to solicit those food items as well. Thank you very much for your support to keep our operations possible!