If you've been following my blog for a while, you probably know that my husband's a pastor and that we run a food pantry out of the building where the church meets. We don't think anyone should have to go hungry, and believe there are enough resources out there to solve the hunger problem. We're called to feed those in our community, but we support other groups and organizations whose mission is to feed hungry people around the world.
Did you know that there are currently 2 million people in the world who are malnourished? Malnourishment is not just a result of too little food, but also occurs when insufficient proteins and nutrients are consumed.
Future Fortified is one organization that is working to combat malnourishment. Future Fortified is a campaign of the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN). The purpose of the campaign is to help children and women in developing countries gain access to the essential nutrients they need to lead healthy lives. Feeding people a bowl of rice or other grain is great to keep them alive, but in order to lead healthy and lives, people must have vitamins and nutrients in their diets.
Future Fortified works to provide home nutrition packets for parents to sprinkle onto their children's meals a few times a week. These packets contain about 15 nutrients including folic acid, Vitamin A, iron, and zinc. These packets cost as little as 3 cents each. They focus their efforts on women and young children because the first 1000 days in a child's life, from pregnancy to about age 2, can shape the child's life. Did you know that long term anemia (low iron) can cause a child to lose IQ points? I learned that at Jaxon's last appointment when our pediatrician was stressing the importance of giving Jaxon iron drops. Adequate nutrition is not just important for health, but for long term success in life.
What I love most about Future Fortified is the approach the organization takes to improve nutrition. Instead of just shipping these packets to the countries that need them, they take a market based approach that helps to ensure the program is sustainable. They work with local governments and businesses to ensure that the product is available to the families who need it, at prices they can afford, since even the very poor buy some of the food they eat. These nutrition packets can be sourced and produced at local and regional levels, which provides continued support to the community. Future Fortified does not make money from the sales of the packets and 90% of donations to Future Fortified go directly towards funding programs in developing countries. The remainder goes to help raise awareness of the program and mobilize communities.
Want to learn more? You can read more about Future Fortified on their website. Want to help? You can donate here.
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