Do you remember the last time you had a PB&J sandwich? Think about peanut butter and jelly sandwiches when you were a kid. Soft bread with PB&J are treats many adults enjoy too.
Well, in this case take the delicious comforting treat, PB&J to a different path, the way Californian Stan Smith did, and you get: PBJ Foods, a grassroots group dedicated to saving children from Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM).
Severe Acute Malnutrition is a leading killer of children under age five in underdeveloped nations. Children suffering from SAM are beyond hungry, beyond malnourished. Before the acute stage, and before other health complications set in, it might be possible to make a community-based approach to treatment, according to UNICEF.
Still, that is not always the case. We know there are starving and malnourished children living and dying in underdeveloped countries every day. Seeing these conditions first hand, Stan Smith knew he had to help.
In March 2012, Stan Smith and friends, Brian Hunsaker, Donna Wertz, Heather Premac, and Haley Hunsaker created a non-profit organization with a goal of eradicating SAM in underdeveloped nations, such as Malawi, Africa.
Malawi is one of the world’s least developed countries. Smith knew to overcome SAM; they needed to add more than a routine humanitarian organization would do.
“We had to develop a locally manufactured Ready-To-Use-Therapeutic-Foods (RUTF),” Smith said. Of course, development of RUTF led to issues of distribution. The allocation targets were remote villages. Another difficulty was providing medical treatment and health education to the local populations. PB&J moved to create a localized, self-sustaining economy that could provide for its people on an ongoing basis.
Stan Smith and friends did this humanitarian work from April 2012 to August 2013. They worked self-funded, on their own time, with a few contributions from friends. The five members of PB&J Foods traveled to Malawi, Africa many times during these 17 months. PB&J saved 1,200 children, yet many more need help.
PB&J Foods has collaborated with Nkhoma Hospital to make needed RUTF manufacturing plant, established distribution sites, and developed operational medical and SAM treatment clinics throughout the region.
PB&J Foods continues work in Malawi with goals to help more children in other underdeveloped countries. Please donate and Like the PB&J Foods Facebook page in a show of support. See the progress we can all make together.