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Spring 2017 Kapu Africa Newsletter


Dear Family, Friends and Faithful Supporters,

It has been nearly a year since our last newsletter, and we apologize. A lot has happened.

East Africa Drought

Much of East Africa has been gripped by a severe drought since early to mid-2016. Some farming regions have had no rain since February 2016. As a result, the normally steady supply of donated fresh vegetables for our partner schools has stopped. But, praise God, we have added a new steady dairy products donor who has given us fresh milk and yogurt which we did not have before. Critically, we're spending as much as we can to send our packaged meal product, Tender Mercies, from Nairobi to those rural areas where people are literally starving. Please click on this link ...ADD.... to see a short video detailing the impacts of the drought and what we're doing to help. By mid-summer we will have shipped about 2.5 million meals into Kenya's poorest regions. In Nairobi, the drought has driven substantial 30% - 50% increases in most food prices, so we're providing as much Tender Mercies as we can to support the meal programs at our 5 partner schools. This is our first experience with an African drought and we have learned how quickly one can develop and how severe it can be. The average farm size in East Africa is 8 acres, which is barely enough to feed a family and maybe keep limited livestock even in good times. But, with no rain, farmers can't plant and therefore almost immediately run out of grains to feed their families and their livestock. The UN has estimated that up to 20 million people across East Africa are currently at risk of starvation. Even when rains come, it will be months before their fields produce crops.

Crocodile Meat Project

Many have asked about the status of our crocodile meat project. We're partnered with a start-up business and it has been a learning experience for all of us. But the crocodile farm has about 1,200 crocodiles ready for slaughter, and has signed their first contract to sell 150 skins with slaughter set for the last week of June. It could be a while before they achieve a steady flow of orders, but we're excited to begin!

Charity Navigator

If you've looked at Charity Navigator recently you're aware that Midwest Food Bank is no longer in any of the Top Ten lists. It was quite a disappointment for us, but in 2016 Charity Navigator changed their rating system to include debt. While Midwest Food Bank has absolutely no operating debt, we are a rapidly growing organization and have had substantial mortgage debt for several years. We tried appealing to Charity Navigator that our mortgage debt is backed by US-based warehouses with market value well in excess of the mortgage debt, but our appeal was denied. So, while nothing has changed and our operating efficiency ratings are still among the best in the country, when debt was factored in, our overall effectiveness rating dropped from 99.96 to 98.3. For those of you who depend on Charity Navigator ratings in making your giving decisions, we ask for your understanding when you consider our latest ratings.

We sincerely appreciate your prayers, many encouraging words, and financial support.

Midwest Food Bank's Kapu Africa Board

Chad, Denny, Gib, Larry and Ralph

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