Running to Save Children from Deadly Malnutrition

A mother attends to her severely malnourished child at an inpatient feeding centre in Mao, Chad. Plumpy'Nut is used to treat this potentially deadly condition (UNICEF Chad/2011/ Esteve)

A mother attends to her severely malnourished child at an inpatient feeding centre in Mao, Chad. Plumpy’Nut is used to treat this potentially deadly condition (UNICEF Chad/2011/ Esteve)

Recently, I wrote about how you can raise money to fight global hunger by running and using the Charity Miles app. My fellow writer and runner, Elizabeth Paff, is joining in on this mission with a slightly different spin.

Elizabeth (Biz) is going to run and raise money for a food called Plumpy’Nut that saves the lives of starving children around the world. For every minute Biz runs through December 14, I will make a donation to Edesia, a non-profit organization that produces the Plumpy’Nut.

Each donation will buy a Plumpy’Nut meal (about 33 cents) which consists of a peanut paste fortified with crucial nutrients for children under the age of five. Without these nutrients small children can suffer lasting physical and mental damage.

Plumpy’Nut (as well as its variations like Plumpy’Sup) are currently being used in emergencies such as the conflicts in Syria, South Sudan, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Plumpy’Nut, which comes in a packet, is a food that can be easily distributed in these dangerous areas as it requires no refrigeration or preparation. In crisis areas there is a race against time to reach the hungry and especially the smallest children as they are the most vulnerable.

When the massive famine and drought struck East Africa last year it was Plumpy’Nut that saved many lives. When famine threatened the Sahel region of Africa this year Plumpy’Nut was again called into action. Edesia, which was recently featured on New England’s Chronicle TV show, produces Plumpy’Nut for aid groups like the World Food Programme, UNICEF, and others to use in the field.

Biz is a member of the Leadership Pathways program at the College of Mount St. Joseph, and is an activist fighting hunger. She will log her miles at Mount St. Joseph’s indoor track. I hope others will sponsor her running too and make the donations to Edesia as I am. This will make an inspired holiday gift. I am already counting her runs both Tuesday and Wednesday of 40 minutes each to the tally. So please join in.

Visit Edesia’s website.

Article first published as Running to Save Children from Deadly Malnutrition on Blogcritics.

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