Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime. This quote is the foundation for the work done by Project Peanut Butter and it is for this reason, Hubbard Peanut Company has chosen to support Project Peanut Butter in our Spreading Peanut Butter – Fighting Hunger campaign. Teach him to raise peanuts, give him the tools to make RUTF’s, employ him, and you raise his condition tremendously.
The specific goal of Project Peanut Butter is to treat Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM), but it is the method employed by the principals of this organization that has impressed us enough to contribute. The following is a description taken directly from Project Peanut Butter’s website http://www.projectpeanutbutter.org/
In 1999, Dr. Mark Manary, moved to Malawi, a hot spot for Severe Acute Malnutrition, for 10 weeks. He used this time to zero in onthe requirements for a successful home-based therapy program. The food had to be something that didn’t spoil, didn’t need to be cooked, was energy dense, could be given in small amounts and could get the job done.
Dr. Manary’s early exploration of home-based therapy evolved into a successful, long-term collaboration with Dr. Andre Briend, who worked with the World Health Organization, and Nutriset, a French company that produced early versions of Ready to Use Therapeutic Foods (RUTF).
From 2000 to 2004, the doctors and their small teams tested various formulas with thousands of malnourished children in a series of controlled clinical trials within Malawi, Africa.
The strategy was to feed RUTF to children in the main hospital wards who could not eat other food. The results were striking: 95% of these children recovered! Compare that to the 25% to 40% who fully recover using traditional hospital therapies, and as Dr. Manary says, “you don’t need to be a statistician to know this is different, and powerful.”
Today, Project Peanut Butter (PPB) serves hundreds of thousands of malnourished children. The non-profit organization has 2 main methods of distributing RUTF to those who need it:
One of the most unique aspects to the organization’s work is that the RUTF is produced within the local countr(ies) where it is served, using as many local ingredients as possible. PPB’s Malawi factory is located in Blantyre and buys ingredients from local peanut and soy farmers, helping to sustain the local economy. Roughly 6,000 local farmers are supported through the project’s expanding food production in Malawi. An important component of the success of the PPB model is the training that local health workers receive from PPB staff to identify Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM), dispense the RUTF, and administer the program. Again, helping to provide jobs and stabilize the local community.
“It’s all run purely by Malawians. It makes us happy and proud that we are able to produce this product, which is serving our own Malawian child.”
– Liyaka Nchilamwela, Factory Manager | (retired), PPB Malawi
Today, PPB is expanding into Sierra Leone, where another factory is being built and local staff are being trained.
Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.