There are an estimated 16 million children globally under the age of five affected by severe acute malnutrition, according to UNICEF. Severe acute malnutrition is life-threatening, and until recently, the recommendation was to refer children to a hospital where they would receive therapeutic diets and medical care. This course of action changed with the creation of ready-to-use therapeutic foods (RUTF), which are designed for nutritional, therapeutic purposes as a dietary supplement.
Peanut Butter for the Hungry (PB4H) is a direct response to this global issue. PB4H is a U.S. peanut industry initiative that helps malnourished children in places with limited resources; this includes supporting the production and delivery of RUTF to food-insecure developing countries. These energy dense, specially formulated foods are designed to combat severe acute malnutrition, and in most cases, have a positive result within just six weeks’ time. For more information, please visit pb4h.org.
Here in Canada, ordinary peanut butter is a nutritious, versatile and economical source of food, and is urgently needed by food banks across the country. Retailers should highlight and encourage the purchase of peanut butter for donation and consumers can support their local food bank by downloading a free peanut butter drive kit.