Meds & Food for Kids (MFK), a non-profit based in St. Louis, Mo., and Cap Haitian, Haiti, has joined the PlumpyField Network, an international network founded by Nutriset that supports ready-to-use food (RUF) producers based in the countries where the need for life-saving nutritional products is greatest. Through the partnership, MFK will be better positioned to supply the increasing need in Haiti for high-quality RUFs.
"Our mission is simple," says Patricia B. Wolff, M.D., founder and executive director of Meds & Foods for Kids. "Since 2003, we have been working to save the lives of Haiti's malnourished children and other nutritionally vulnerable people through local production of Medika Mamba, MFK's life-saving therapeutic food. Our current factory can't keep up with the demand; this partnership will help us build a new state-of-the-art factory to not only save more children through increased production, but also further drive economic and agricultural development in Haiti. We'll also be able to broaden our products to produce supplementary foods that can help prevent childhood malnutrition as well as treat it."
Wolff adds, "We'll be creating more jobs, buying more peanuts and helping more families. We'll go from helping 8,000 children to 80,000 each year."
Founded in 2003 by Wolff, who first traveled to Haiti in 1988, Meds & Food for Kids has saved the lives of more than 20,000 Haitian children. Production in Haiti employs Haitians and uses Haitian raw materials. By the end of 2011, when the new factory is operational, MFK will go from supporting 500 farmers to 1,000 farmers in order to get the supply of raw materials needed to produce Plumpy'nut(R), Supplementary'Plumpy(R) and Nutributter(R).
By joining the PlumpyField Network, MFK becomes part of an active community of producers that consists of 12 member organizations and will benefit from technical support and technology transfer. The PlumpyField Network was initiated in 2005 by France-based Nutriset, developer of Plumpy'nut(R) as well as of other products in the Plumpy(R) range, and a global leader in RUF production.
Also part of the network is Edesia: Global Nutrition Solutions, a new non-profit producer in Rhode Island, U.S.A. Edesia will collaborate with Nutriset to provide administrative resources and strategic guidance. These partnerships will help MFK increase production and meet the needs of 30,000 children in Haiti in the first year of production, increasing to 80,000 by 2012.
"Edesia is truly committed to saving children and empowering communities," said Navyn Salem, Edesia's executive director. "This year, two new factories, one in the United States and one in Tanzania, have opened thanks to the work of our dedicated team. Now, Edesia is proud to partner with Meds & Foods for Kids in Haiti to ensure that the nutritional needs of the most vulnerable children continue to be successfully met, while also strengthening local economies."
About Meds & Food for Kids (MFK)
Founded in 2003, Meds & Food for Kids (MFK) is a St. Louis, Mo.-based non-profit dedicated to saving the lives of Haiti's malnourished children by producing and distributing highly nutritious foods, including Medika Mamba (Creole for "peanut butter medicine"), a Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Food (RUTF). Because of its commitment to Haiti's long-term development—not just rescue—MFK produces Medika Mamba in Haiti, with Haitian labor, and many Haitian raw materials. For more information, visit www.mfkhaiti.org.
Founded in 1986 by Michel Lescanne, an agri-food engineer, Nutriset is a family-owned company based in Normandy, which has become the world leader in nutritional products designed to combat malnutrition, like Plumpy'nut(R) its hallmark product. Nutriset chose to select its partners only in the humanitarian sector (United Nations agencies, NGOs etc.). Nutriset invests heavily in the research and development of new nutritional solutions and supports the development of companies related to its sector in developing countries. Its aim beyond combating malnutrition is to contribute to developing specific solutions leading to real nutritional autonomy for all in developing countries. www.nutriset.fr
To learn more about PlumpyField: www.nutriset.fr/plumpyfield
About Edesia Global Nutrition Solutions
Edesia is a non-profit organization dedicated to the production and development of Ready-to-Use Foods (RUFs) used to fight malnutrition in the developing world. Its mandates are: to produce Plumpy'nut(R) and other high quality nutritional products in the U.S.; collaborate on nutrition research; and support local producers of RUF in the developing world. Edesia's RUFs include Plumpy'nut(R), Supplementary'Plumpy(R), Plumpy'doz(R) and Nutributter(R). Based in Providence, Rhode Island, Edesia began manufacturing in March 2010. Edesia is a member of Nutriset's PlumpyField Network-a network of global producers working to increase access to new nutrition solutions for at-risk populations. www.edesiaglobal.org