Nutri Bank, Consumption of Nutrition-Balanced Food Campaign
“I like to eat vegetables but my mom rarely cooks them”, said Manda, 10 years of age, one of the residents of Desa Selemak, Kecamatan Hamparan Perak, Kabupaten Deli Serdang, North Sumatra.
The situation that Manda is experiencing is a common practice in that village. Most of the villagers work as scavengers with low income. This condition causes low access to and awareness of the consumption of extremely low-nutrition food.
Every day, these scavengers are only able to provide simple food with unbalanced nutrition contents. They usually consume rice as the source of carbohydrate and eggs or salted fish as the source of protein, while sources of vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber are disregarded or even not provided.
This is what underlies Ayu Rizkyana, Tanoto Scholar from Universitas Sumatera Utara (USU) to create Nutri Bank program. This student of the Faculty of Public Health of USU is cooperating with Bank Sampah (Waste Bank) SMJ Hamparan Perak to work together to build public health, especially for scavengers in the village of Selemak in terms of the fulfillment of balanced nutrition.
The Nutri Bank concept is quite simple. The scavengers exchange equivalent amounts of wastes that they collect with healthy foods consisting of fruits and vegetables during the activity.
The program, which also received support from Tanoto Foundation, was held every Saturday and Sunday, from 17 June to 9 July 2017. At the end of the program, dissemination was held for the village community about the importance of healthy and nutrition-balanced food consumption.
The villagers were very happy with this program. Manda, for example, collected her garbage to be exchanged for her favorite pears and cauliflowers while Bu Nining (42) who always exchanged her garbage with apples, pears, broccoli, and milk for her children.
Ayu hopes the Nutri Bank program can be continued and further developed, not only in Desa Selemak, but also in other villages so it can always motivate and educate the community in the fulfillment of balanced nutrition.
Ayu Rizkyana is a Tanoto Scholar from Universitas Sumatera Utara and a participant of Young Leaders for Indonesia National Batch 9.