Unique Programs at the East Africa Location
Tender Mercies Program
Since food donations are scarce, Midwest Food Bank of East Africa needed alternative options for supplying food to the schools for the children. With the successful launch of the Tender Mercies program at the Peoria and Morton locations, the East Africa location’s board members decided they needed to try to implement this program in Kenya.
Shipping Tender Mercies from the US proved to be costly and did not help the Kenyan economy. The owner of a soybean processing plant (Soy Afric) was impressed with the mission and ministry of Kapu Africa and took on the responsibilities of making Tender Mercies. Cornelius orders supplies and keeps inventory and Tender Mercies is packaged in the plant.
The Tender Mercies program of East Africa uses cowpeas, lentils, rice, full-fat soy, and a blended micro-nutrient package specifically for children. This combination of ingredients is perfect because they are all produced in East Africa, and the full-fat soy is a byproduct of the soybean plant and therefore is conveniently already on-site. These meals are also safe for children as young as 6 months.
Since providing these meals that are packed with nutrition, the educators have begun noticing a huge effect on the children’s work and appearance. They are doing better in their schoolwork, can stay focused for longer periods, and are more alert. They also look healthier due to the better nutrition they are receiving.
Not only does Cornelius use his plant and trucks to assist with the Tender Mercies program, but he does all of this at cost or even less, and it costs about 15¢ per meal. In 2020, the plant produced 607 metric tons (669 US tons) which is equivalent to 7.3 million meals. Midwest Food Bank of East Africa is the largest producer for the Tender Mercies program, and it continues to grow. Production of Unimix, vitamin-fortified breakfast porridge) began in 2020. 218 metric tonnes (240 US tons), or 2.2 million meals, were distributed in 2020.