Mindanao ships 75 tons of bananas to Luzon for typhoon victims
By Riza T. Olchondra
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 18:26:00 10/13/2009

MANILA, Philippines—Members of the Pilipino Banana Growers and Exporters Association based in Mindanao shipped 75 tons of bananas as food relief for typhoon victims in Metro Manila and nearby provinces.

PBGEA member Betty Francia said in a phone interview that 7,500 boxes of bananas (at 10 kilos per box) were shipped to Luzon in two batches.

PBGEA earlier said in a statement that members Tagum Agricultural Development Company, Inc., Sumifru, Lapanday Foods, F.S. Dizon and Sons, AM Soriano group, Marsman-Drysdale and Unifrutti donated the bananas.

A total of eight 20-footer container vans and 14 10-footer vans had arrived in Manila as of the weekend with the help of Solid Shipping Lines Corp. and Aboitiz Transport System Corp.

The shipments were endorsed to the Department of Social Welfare and Development, which will repack and distribute the fruit to typhoon victims.

PBGEA said its members decided to ship export-quality bananas in response to reports that evacuation centers lack fresh food for ready eating.

Reports have said the centers are so saturated with instant noodles that evacuees say it's "coming out of their ears."

Fruits and vegetables may also be harder to come by in wet markets supplying evacuation centers as high value crops from Central and Northern Luzon were lost to floods or cannot be immediately delivered due to landslides in major roads.

"Even relief workers can benefit from the energy-boosting fruit. Athletes are known to consume bananas when they are competing to boost their energy levels. Bananas consist mainly of sugars and fiber, which makes them ideal for an immediate and slightly prolonged source of energy," PBGEA said.

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