Mani+ Helping to Address Childhood Malnutrition in Central America

Mani+ Helping to Address Childhood Malnutrition in Central America

by Sangeeta Haindl

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Fortified peanut paste helps alleviate childhood #malnutrition in Guatemala via @Justmeans #hunger #centralamerica
Friday, October 23, 2015 - 8:00am



Guatemala has the fourth-highest childhood malnutrition rate in the world, affecting more than half of its children. Fifty-three percent of the population here lives in poverty—13 percent in extreme poverty. One of the most effective ways to treat childhood malnutrition in this region is to use Ready-to-Use Supplementary Food (RUSF). It is a fortified peanut paste that provides a vital dose of calories, protein, fat, vitamins and minerals essential to brain development in babies and toddlers. Now, to further enhance RUSF, a new malnutrition centre called Mani+ has opened in Guatemala, which will locally produce and source this food supplement, creating local jobs and supporting local farmers at the same time.

The centre will specifically address the nutritional deficiencies in Central America.  The supplement is produced by NutriPlus, a unique social enterprise fou­­nded by Professor Ted Fischer and the former Country Music Association CEO, Steve Moore, the founder of the Middle Tennessee-based Shalom Foundation; that organization’s Guatemala City paediatric clinic has strong ties to Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt, which houses the Vanderbilt Guatemala Research Station. Vanderbilt students from across the university have been instrumental in the development of Mani+, developing financial and quality control models, an aflotoxin eradication plan for partner peanut farmers, educational materials and packaging, including crucial field research on peanut cultivation and Mani+ usage in the home.

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Photo CreditVanderbilt University

Sangeeta Haindl writes on women and children; social innovation; social enterprise and social entrepreneurs. She is the founder of Serendipity PR, in London, U.K., where she works with high-profile brands and organizations in the public, non-profit, and corporate sectors, winning awards for her work from the communications industry. She is chairman of and director of London's leading conscious well-being organisation, Alternatives, which hosts leading speakers such as Eckhart Tolle, Deepak Chopra, Marianne Williamson, Neale Donald Walsch and many other well-known names. She describes herself as a Spiritual Entrepreneur, Conscious Explorer; enjoying helping others, paying it forward and being a mum.