Hershey Partners with Project Peanut Butter to Reduce Malnutrition among Children in Rural Ghana
Hershey Provides Funding to NGO to Produce Supplemental Nutrition
Peanut-Based Nutrition Product has Proven to be Highly Effective in
Saving Lives for At Risk Children
ACCRA, Ghana--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Dec. 10, 2012--
With funding from The Hershey Company (NYSE: HSY), Project Peanut Butter
announced today that it will make and distribute vitamin-enriched
nutritional packets to impoverished children in rural Ghana.
Through Project Peanut Butter, children in rural Ghana will receive
nutrients to increase their strength, foster growth and reduce their
vulnerability to diseases. Childhood malnutrition levels in sub-Sahara
Africa, an area that includes Ghana, are the highest in the world.
“Accelerating the production and distribution of nutrient-rich food is
critical to improving the lives of at-risk rural children,” said Dr.
Mark Manary, founder of Project Peanut Butter, a pediatrician and a
professor of pediatrics at Washington University School of Medicine in
St. Louis, Mo. “I am thrilled to partner with Hershey to bring this
life-saving program to the rural villages of Ghana, where poverty causes
malnourishment among children.”
For many years, Hershey has supported education and community
development programs in rural Ghana, which is a leading cocoa producing
country. Hershey will fund the construction of a Project Peanut Butter
factory in Ghana to produce the peanut-based Ready to Use Therapeutic
Foods (RUTFs). Project Peanut Butter will distribute the RUTFs to relief
agencies, who provide the product to malnourished children in Ghana at
no cost to them or their families.
More than a decade ago, Dr. Manary helped develop RUTFs, which are
peanut-based, vitamin-enriched nutritional packets that have resulted in
95 percent of children recovering from malnourishment compared to 25 to
40 percent from traditional hospital therapies. Project Peanut Butter is
now operating in Malawi, Sierra Leone, and Mali.
Ghana is one of the top 10 peanut producing countries in the world and
has a robust and growing peanut farming industry. Project Peanut
Butter’s local partners will source all peanuts within Ghana, providing
thousands of small-holder Ghanaian peanut farmers with a new market for
their crops. Hershey will be assisting the Project Peanut Butter team
through the company’s expertise in sourcing and processing peanuts.
While Ghana has one of the strongest emerging economies in Africa, food
insecurity still persists in rural areas due to unstable production,
insufficient purchasing power and bad roads. Nutrient deficiencies are
worse in children under five years, particularly in infants after the
transition from exclusive breastfeeding to complementary feeding.
While the number of acres for Ghana peanuts has significantly increased
in recent years, production is limited by current growing practices
because few farmers use optimal farming techniques. The Project Peanut
Butter program in Ghana will work to improve the peanut farming sector
by providing farmers with access to higher quality inputs and better
planting and harvest techniques.
“Because of our experience in peanut processing and our commitment to
improving communities in West Africa, Project Peanut Butter is an
exciting project for us,” said Michele Buck, Hershey’s Senior Vice
President, Chief Growth Officer. “We are honored to be working with Dr.
Manary and his dedicated team in reducing childhood malnutrition.”
Dr. Manary started Project Peanut Butter in Malawi and has committed his
life to solving childhood malnutrition. “Project Peanut Butter Ghana
will both address the urgent need to reduce malnourishment among
children and increase the capacity of peanut farming to be a source of
food long into the future,“ added Dr. Manary.
About Project Peanut Butter
Project Peanut Butter is a revolutionary therapeutic program founded by
Dr. Mark Manary, a medical doctor and a professor of pediatrics at
Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Mo. It has been
called the most effective method to treat malnourished children around
the world. From 2000 to 2004, Dr. Manary and his teams tested various
formulas with thousands of malnourished children in Malawi, Africa.
Today, Project Peanut Butter serves thousand of malnourished children.
The program distributes peanut-based, vitamin-enriched nutritional
packets called Ready to Use Therapeutic Foods (RUTFs) through 21
clinics, approximately 50 supported sites that receive RUTFs and
training at no cost, and at affiliated clinics that receive RUTFs
through approximately 90 governments and charities around the world that
buy the packets at cost of manufacture.
About The Hershey Company
The Hershey Company (NYSE: HSY) is the largest producer of quality
chocolate in North America and a global leader in chocolate and sugar
confectionery. Headquartered in Hershey, Pa., The Hershey Company has
operations throughout the world and approximately 13,000 employees. With
revenues of more than $6 billion, Hershey offers confectionery products
under more than 80 brand names, including such iconic brands as Hershey's,
Reese's, Hershey's Kisses, Hershey's Bliss,
Hershey's Special Dark, Kit Kat, Twizzlers, Jolly
Rancher and Ice Breakers. Hershey also offers premium and
artisan chocolate products under such brands as Scharffen Berger
and Dagoba through the Artisan Confections Company, a wholly
owned subsidiary. The company is focused on growing its presence in key
international markets such as China and Mexico while continuing to build
its competitive advantage in the United States and Canada.
For more than 100 years, The Hershey Company has been a leader in making
a positive difference in the communities where its employees live, work
and do business. Corporate Social Responsibility is an integral part of
the company’s global business strategy, which includes goals and
priorities focused on fair and ethical business dealings, environmental
stewardship, fostering a desirable workplace for employees, and
positively impacting society and local communities. Milton Hershey
School, established in 1909 by the company's founder provides a quality
education, housing, and medical care at no cost to children in social
and financial need. Students of Milton Hershey School are direct
beneficiaries of The Hershey Company's success.
Source: The Hershey Company
Jeff Beckman, 717-534-8090