As someone who eats peanut butter in one way or another every day at breakfast, the concept of Peanuts4Peanuts strikes me as an awesome way to regularly (and easily!) do my part to help those who are less fortunate. Haven’t heard of the organization? Perhaps that’s because it’s an awesome start-up that recently launched here in Boston! Co-Founders Lizzie Faust and Kendra Wilkins have started Peanuts4Peanuts to combat chronic malnutrition in Haiti. It works just like the name suggests…You buy a jar of peanut butter here in the US, and a dose of medicinal peanut butter is given to a child in Haiti. Peanuts for peanuts. The concept sounds simple, but getting a start-up off the ground isn’t. Lizzie and Kendra need our help getting their operation up and running. Here’s what you need to know:
What is Peanuts4Peanuts, in a nutshell? (pun intended, sorry I had to)
L&K: Peanuts4Peanuts is a Boston-based start-up that helps to treat malnourished children in Haiti through a sustainable economic model built around the concept of selling peanut butter. We use U.S. grown peanuts and produce our peanut butter in a facility right outside of Boston. For every jar we sell, a dose of micronutrient fortified peanut butter will be provided to a malnourished child in Haiti. We all love peanut butter! But now, with Peanuts4Peanuts, there’s more to love!
What stage are you currently at in the process of developing the organization?
L&K: We are in discussions with potential partners in Haiti who will help us distribute the peanut butter. Our manufacturer is all set to produce the Peanuts4Peanuts peanut butter once we give them the green light. And we have stores lined up in the South End excited to sell our product! All we need is the initial capital to get this moving!
L: I have done economic analyses for Partners in Health and Gheskio HIV/TB Clinic, non-profit organizations that are based in Haiti. Last fall, I went to Haiti and was introduced to medicinal peanut butter. Medicinal peanut butter has really revolutionized the way children are treated for malnutrition because it doesn’t require water, a scarce resource in most developing countries. Over 80,000 children die from malnutrition in Haiti each year, but with proper treatment, this number could be zero.
What kind of impact can Peanuts4Peanuts have in Haiti?
L&K: If left untreated, chronic malnutrition can have a serious impact on the country as a whole, because it results in increased risk of contracting HIV, low school attendance, and decreased productivity. Peanuts4Peanuts will not only help to directly treat these children, but through the employment of Haitian farmers and factory employees, we will be generating income to help reduce poverty and food insecurity across the country.
What can we all do to help?
L&K: Spread the word! Check out our IndieGoGo campaign and LIKE us on Facebook. If we reach $10,000 by the end of the week, one of our Facebook fans will win a FREE Peanuts4Peanuts t-shirt or tank!
Is there anything else we should know?
L: Kendra and I were recently accepted to an entrepreneurship program in Silicon Valley. We’ll be heading to California for 7 weeks this fall to work on Peanuts4Peanuts. We are doing everything we can to make sure this company is a success and we can’t thank our backers and Facebook fans enough for all the support!
Their fundraising deadline on IndieGoGo is September 13, and they only receive funding if they reach their goals. So hop over and help them (and really malnourished kids in Haiti) out!