Vita Mamba Makes a Difference!
Health surveys have shown that up to 70% of rural Haitian schoolchildren are anemic. Many children have just one meal per day, and thus arrive at school each day with empty stomachs. These children are lethargic and often fall asleep, hindering their ability to learn. In 2012 Meds & Food for Kids received a USDA McGovern-Dole grant to develop a nutritious school snack. In partnership with its PlumpyField network partner Edesia, MFK developed Vita Mamba, a peanut- and soy-based product packed with vitamins, minerals, and energy. A cluster, randomized trial conducted by an evaluation team from Washington University in St. Louis showed that Vita Mamba increases healthy fat stores, increases body mass index, and reduces the risk of anemia in children. The study results were published last year in The Journal of Nutrition: http://jn.nutrition.org/content/early/2015/02/10/jn.114.203182.short
MFK still asks organizations purchasing or receiving Vita Mamba donations to send pictures and stories of beneficiary students. Recently we received a report of how Vita Mamba has positively impacted the life of a 10-year-old boy, Sterlin, as described by his teacher, his school principal, and Sterlin himself. Below is an amalgamation of their interviews:
Sterlin lives with his three brothers, the oldest of whom is 25 years old. His parents are seriously ill. When his oldest brother has some money, they have two meals each day, which can comprise “a bit of bread and an egg,” spaghetti, or coffee and bread. Sterlin was skinny, weak, and very sickly, often missing school. Now that he is receiving Vita Mamba at school, he is rarely sick and pays better attention in school. He is the “heart and soul of his football [soccer] team,” and his brother has had to lengthen his pants. Sterlin noted, “My big brother is no longer worried when there is no food in the morning to eat. He knows I will get good food when I get to school.” The school principal noted that the school is the best attended in the community because families know their children will receive Vita Mamba.
Your support allows MFK to provide Vita Mamba to schoolchildren throughout Haiti, giving health and hope to children and their families.