MFB part of project to build food security in Haiti
MFB Haiti is beginning a Tender Mercies packaging program that will use locally-sourced products. Working in partnership with Overture International, a nonprofit organization focused on sustainable development in Haiti, this project will also create jobs for local community members.
Beginning this month, MFB Haiti will provide seasoning, textured vegetable protein, and essential vitamins to launch the project. Overture hires workers from the community and sources the rice and beans from local farmers. Overture's community farm program equips more than 60 farmers from six communities with resources to expand crop production. It is hoped this project will be the model for developing similar programs in other communities.
Another part of this project is designed to educate farmers on best practices for consistent production. This will ensure reliable supplies for the program moving forward.
"Sourcing the ingredients locally will create a stronger infrastructure for building food security in those locations," says Jerry Koehl, board president of Midwest Food Bank Haiti. "It is our hope to move our friends in Haiti toward autonomy and self-sufficiency."
The initial goal is 4,000 packages containing 25 servings each for a total of 100,000 servings. The first beneficiaries of the pilot program will be 300 students at Overture's Pwoje Espwa Sud (ESPWA) school in Camp Perrin.
The cost to create the initial 100,000 servings is estimated at $38,000. This includes the Tender Mercies ingredient mix, transportation, and purchasing the Haitian-grown rice and beans. For $76, Haitian school children will receive 200 servings of Tender Mercies. If you would like to help with this pilot program, a donation of any size will help.
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