Thursday, October 28, 2010

Plumpynut: Funny Name, Serious Results

Last week, Kate and I visited the Edesia factory in Providence, RI- home of Plumpynut, a line of products that treat and prevent malnutrition for over 100,000 children. We met with Marie Wisecup, Communications Manager, and got a chance to tour the Edesia building to see how Plumpynut products are made. YUGA knows that access to food and adequate nutrition is a basic right according to the Convention on the Rights of the Child, and organizations in RI are helping to ensure that right!

While there, Kate and I learned that there are 195 million undernourished children in our world. Every day, 16,000 children die because of a lack of food and adequate nutrition. Edesia works to treat malnutrition, as well as prevent malnutrition among vulnerable children ages 6-24 months. The main ingredients are simple: peanuts, sugar, vegetable oil, and milk; but the products have a huge impact. They require no preparation or refrigeration, have a two-year shelf life, and are easy to eat. Main purchasers of Edesia’s products include UNICEF, World Food Program, Doctors Without Borders, and the Clinton Foundation.

Edesia also actively hires immigrants and refugees through the International Institute of Rhode Island. This not only provides work for newly arrived refugees, but often connects them to their homes and past. Nine years ago, Andrew Kamara, Edesia’s Supply Chain Supervisor, arrived in the United States. Having lived several years in a refugee camp in Western Africa, he now produces the types of food that he and his family once relied on.

The Edesia factory is open for tours, and is a great way to learn about nutritional assistance. If you’d like to schedule a tour of the Edesia factory for your class or YUGA Chapter, click here or visit

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