The American Peanut Council, the non-profit trade association that represents all segments of the U.S. peanut industry, welcomes the announcement that $4.4 million of Ready-To-Use Therapeutic Foods (RUTFs) have been procured from three American firms.

Peanut paste is a critical ingredient in RUTF, now the protocol for treating severe acute malnutrition. The food will help feed and treat hungry children in the Horn of Africa, a region suffering from severe drought and malnutrition.

The RUTFs were secured through the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), under the USAID Food for Peace program.

The RUTFs are expected to reach more than 70,000 malnourished children beginning next month.

 “Thanks to America’s peanut producers and the American people, this purchase is helping to support U.S. jobs andgetting a highly-nutritious food product to severely malnourished children in the Horn of Africa,” said U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.

“Our efforts to support food security are critically important to contributing to a more stable world. USDA remains committed to addressing the root causes of food insecurity through sustainable agriculture production and improved agricultural research, and working with our public and private sector partners to provide emergency food assistance when needed.”

"This was an important and gratifying public-private partnership and because of it, we are able to feed 70,000 kids on the brink of starvation in the Horn of Africa with therapeutic food made from American peanuts. This is America at work and at its best,” said Nancy Lindborg, Assistant Administrator for the Bureau for Democracy, Conflict, and Humanitarian Assistance at USAID.

In 2007, the U.S. peanut industry launched Peanut Butter for the Hungry, a humanitarian initiative to support the development of nutrient-rich and therapeutic foods for severely malnourished children around the world. 

 "Knowing that the U.S. peanut industry has made this commitment to the children and families in regions in need is deeply satisfying. We are honoured to have even a small role in helping to save lives," said George Birdsong, Chairman of the American Peanut Council’s committee on hunger.

About the American Peanut Council

The American Peanut Council, is a non-profit trade association that serves as a forum for all segments of the U.S. peanut industry including peanut growers, shellers, brokers, peanut product manufacturers and suppliers of goods and services to the industry.

For an earlier article on this subject, see http://southeastfarmpress.com/peanuts/new-peanut-facility-will-help-malnourished-children.