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Running to Save Children from Deadly Malnutrition

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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.


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)

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.

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About William Lambers

William Lambers is the author of several books including Ending World Hunger: School Lunches for Kids Around the World. This book features over 50 interviews with officials from the UN World Food Programme and other charities discussing school feeding programs that fight child hunger. He is also the author of Nuclear Weapons, The Road to Peace: From the Disarming of the Great Lakes to the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, Open Skies for Peace, The Spirit of the Marshall Plan: Taking Action Against World Hunger, School Lunches for Kids Around the World, The Roadmap to End Global Hunger, From War to Peace and the Battle of Britain. He is also a writer for the History News Service. His articles have been published by newspapers including the Cincinnati Enquirer, Des Moines Register, the New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Buffalo News, San Diego Union Tribune, the Providence Journal, Free Lance-Star (VA), the Bakersfield Californian, the Washington Post, Miami Herald (FL), Chicago Sun-Times, the Patriot Ledger (MA), Charleston Sunday Gazette Mail (WV), the Cincinnati Post, Salt Lake Tribune (UT), North Adams Transcript (MA), Wichita Eagle (KS), Monterey Herald (CA), Athens Banner-Herald (GA) and the Duluth News Journal. His articles also appear on History News Network (HNN) and Think Africa Press. Mr. Lambers is a graduate of the College of Mount St. Joseph in Ohio with degrees in Liberal Arts (BA) and Organizational Leadership (MS). He is also a member of the Feeding America Blogger Council.