If you found out that every day this year, 11,551 children died as a result of Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM), would you be shocked to tears? If you found out that this horrific problem had a solution would you do everything within your power to bring that solution to reality? That’s exactly what the founders of a small non-profit organization from Laguna Niguel, California are doing. They call themselves PB+J Foods, Inc.
PB+J (Peanut Butter + Jesus) was established to treat Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) in Malawi, Africa. Malawi is ranked one of the
Top 10 least developed countries in the world. Its residents fight a consistent uphill battle with malnutrition. And, while they may not have the resources to take down this epidemic once and for all, they can save tens-of-thousands of lives every year.
So, what is the solution? PB+J, in conjunction with Nkhoma Hospital, has set up a self-sustaining manufacturing site in Malawi to create a fortified peanut butter paste that is proven to save the lives of thousands of children suffering from SAM.
This fortified peanut butter is a ‘RUTF’, or Read to Use Therapeutic Food (RUTF). RUTFs are soft or crushable foods that can be consumed easily by children, from the age of six months, without the need of adding water. The peanut butter paste is a high caloric food supplement consisting of peanut butter paste, powder milk, sugar, vegetable oil and a vitamin/mineral micro nutrient package. The peanuts contain mono-unsaturated fats, are easily digestible, and are high in zinc and protein, which greatly help the immune system to fight disease, especially Malaria which is a major contributor to the high death rate in the region. A great benefit to this type of RUTF is that it can be stored without refrigeration for months without spoiling and requires no cooking.
In just the first year of operation and production at Nkhoma Hospital, this PB+J Foods –produced RUTF saved the lives of nearly 1,200 children. This past week, new high volume production equipment has completed manufacturing in South Africa. Once this new equipment is shipped and installed PB + J Foods is expected to increase its production of RUTFs 10 fold. That’s 11,000 lives that will be saved in 2014—and that’s just the beginning.
PB+ J Foods is working feverishly to raise enough money to save the lives of 11, 000 children per year. A donation of just $30 a month will save the life of a child. With its new increased manufacturing power, and additional sponsorships, PB+ J Foods will be able to meet its goals. As the message of its progress spreads around the world, there is no telling how many more production plants PB+ J Foods could establish, and how many more thousands of lives it will be able to save. It could, with the right support form individuals, organizations, and some divine intervention, save the entire country and establish a foundation and process for other impoverished parts of the world to emulate to save their population.
To make a donation to further support the efforts of PB+J Foods, visit www.pbjfoods.org/donation