WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — MANA, or “Mother Administered Nutritive Aid,” comes in easy to open packets, just like condiments at a baseball game. But instead of ketchup and mustard, these packs are filled with peanut paste, carefully fortified with the essential nutrients for child development. Easy for mothers to open and tasty for children, MANA, when served three times a day, can save the life of a child in poverty.
Studies show that malnutrition contributes to more than half of all childhood deaths. Children that suffer from severe acute malnutrition (SAM) are nine times as likely to die as a properly nourished child. Starvation and SAM are caused directly by drought and famine, but internal politics and violent conflict frequently exacerbate food crises.
SAM is a very dangerous disease, but thankfully, it is preventable and treatable. SAM can be combated by nutrition techniques such as the distribution of fortified foods such as MANA.
In 2009 Mark Moore heard about this special peanut paste, a ready-to-use therapeutic food (RUTF.) According to USAID, “RUTF provides appropriate energy, protein, fat, vitamins and minerals to treat SAM in children six to fifty-nine months.” Components of the paste include nuts, legumes, grains and sweeteners.
After learning about the incredible benefits of RUTF, Moore founded MANA Nutrition.
MANA Nutrition is a nonprofit run on business principals. This company produces MANA, which is a RUTF, and also spreads awareness of SAM. Any profits generated go toward new equipment and additional personnel, in order to reach more children and save more lives.
Currently, MANA Nutrition is able to produce as much as 46,000 pounds of MANA per day, which is enough to feed 1,500 children suffering from SAM over six weeks.
MANA Nutrition partners with international aid organizations in order to distribute this RUTF in the most efficient and effective way possible. MANA goes to places such as Kenya, Sudan, Rwanda, Chad, Sierra Leone, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Burundi, North Korea and Guatemala. The majority of the product ends up in village settings, where the most vulnerable and needy kids are located. The peanut packets are placed in the hands of caring mothers, who administer the food to their children on a daily basis.
MANA Nutrition operates with values of quality, innovation, responsibility, sustainability and transparency. The founders of MANA Nutrition acknowledge the fact that scientists and politicians are working toward a future world free of hunger. But until then MANA Nutrition is “making a simple product that a mother can give her starving child — today.”
Sources: MANA Nutrition, USAID
Feature Image: WFAE