PB+J Takes On SAM: Bet You Never Thought It’d Save So Many Lives

PB&J Takes on Sam

**Please note, this is a sponsored post as part of the BlogDash program**

Severe Acute Malnutrition (S.A.M.) is the Number One Killer of children under five years of age. Severe Acute Malnutrition is defined by a very low weight to height ratio, visible severe wasting or by the presence of nutritional edema. Nearly 20 million children around the world suffer from S.A.M. and it contributes to the death of more than 3.5 million children per year. Without proper treatment, the majority of children who survive will live with compromises to their physical and cognitive capabilities.

PB+J Foods

PB+J: How Five Californians saved over a thousand lives

Meet Stan Smith. Now meet Stan’s awesome friends: Brian Hunsaker, Donna Wertz, Heather Premac, and Haley Hunsaker.

Why are they awesome?

That’s a great question. Take your pick:

1) They started a non-profit organisation

“After five years of working alongside a number of global humanitarian organizations in Malawi, Africa, one of the world’s least developed countries, Laguna Niguel, California resident Stan Smith realized that Malawi’s nutritional challenges would persist despite digging water wells, building schools, developing livestock programs, and providing a range of other customary humanitarian efforts. He witnessed the deadly effects of Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) and was determined to find a better way to combat this devastating epidemic.”

2) That organisation is designed to eradicate Severe Acute Malnutrition in undeveloped nations, such as Malawi

“To beat SAM we were going to have to do more than what typical humanitarian organizations do to feed the hungry. We had to develop a way to locally manufacture Ready-to-Use-Therapeutic-Foods (RUTF), to distribute RUFTs to remote villages, to provide locals with medical treatment and health care education, and we had to create a localized, self-sustaining economy that could provide for its people on an on-going basis.”

3) Between April 2012 and August 2013 they traveled to Malawi multiple times…

4) … on their own dime and time (with a little help from their friends)…

5) Then they:

  • Partnered with Nkhoma Hospital to create a RUTF manufacturing plant, to establish RUTF distribution sites, and to develop and operate medical and SAM treatment clinics throughout the region

  • Created an educational program to provide villagers with basic knowledge about food safety and storage, malnutrition management, hygiene and sanitation, family planning, HIV/AIDS prevention, childcare, nutrition, and agriculture

  • Began the formation of a local farmers co-op, intended to have at least 800 members, in order to grow local ‘ground nuts’, one of the most valuable nuts in the world, with Opportunity International Bank of Malawi, Afri-Nut, and World Vision which provides a cash crop for the local farmers, creating economic growth, and a steady supply of nuts for the RUTF peanut paste

And did I mention, they saved lives? 12 would have been good. 120 would have been great. But they saved 1200 lives. And that’s awesome.

What’s next?

Now they want to do even more in 2014!

In 2014, PB+J Foods aim to:

  • Secure financial donations to expand its infrastructure

  • Manufacture and serve RUTFs to 11,000 children suffering from SAM

  • Provide medical treatment to 1,000 children at Nkhoma Hospital and area clinics

  • Increase employment at the local PB+J RUTF production facility

  • Sell locally produced RUTFs on the open market to create revenues that will enable the PB+J programs in Malawi to become self-sustaining

  • Provide RUTF products at no charge to their patients

Can you help?

It is so so so easy to help PB+J:

♥ Visit their website and watch the video

♥ Make a one time donation if you can…

♥ …or a monthly donation if you like!

Thank you for reading! Thank you to PB+J for their work so far!

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Donna Brown

Ever developing teacher and learner (online and offline!). Avid reader/audiobook listener, fan of podcasts, prone to the odd Netflix binge. Mum to six crazy and incredible rescue cats. Occasional writer of short stories and poetry.
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