The earthquake that has devastated the capital city of Haiti is an unbelievably cruel disaster for a country that is already one of the poorest and neglected countries in the world. The thousands of lives that have been lost and the devastation that has been left behind are almost too mind-boggling to comprehend.
But it’s real.
It may be thousands of miles away from us, but there is a simple way we can help the starving people of Haiti who, we might add, have been starving long before this disaster occurred.
In an effort to help the people of Haiti, several local groups are working to collect peanut butter to be sent to the people and meet their needs. Northwest Haiti Christian Mission, a Christian mission group based in Versailles, Ky., will be handling the shipping of the peanut butter and getting to those in need at no cost.
Why peanut butter?
For one, it’s easy. The Haitian people won’t have to worry about trying to open a canned good. With a jar of peanut butter they can just unscrew the lid, peel back the seal and dig in.
But there are many more reasons why peanut butter is a necessity in Haiti. These people are incredibly malnourished and peanut butter is high in protein and calories. According to some online research, six tablespoons of peanut butter are equal to a three-ounce pork chop in protein. And protein is lacking in the diet of most Haitians.
Peanut butter is also rich in vitamins and minerals, like vitamins B and E.
In fact, in Haiti, there is a mixture called “Medika Mamba” or peanut butter medicine that is used to combat childhood malnutrition. The mixture is a nutrient-rich mixture of peanuts, sugar, oil, vitamins, minerals and powdered milk. It is distributed in plastic containers for families to feed their children at home and can be stored for several months. Children start to show visible signs of improvement about one to two weeks after receiving the peanut butter medicine, becoming more active and growing new black hair.
Peanut butter is also an inexpensive item to donate. Most every American adult or child can afford to contribute at least one jar of peanut butter.
So we urge each and every person in Washington County to donate at least one jar of peanut butter to Haiti. It’s the least we could do for people who have much more than hunger to worry about now. Just think, one jar of peanut butter could quite literally save a Haitian from dying of malnutrition. A simple jar of peanut butter can save a life.
To donate, contact Greg Bowen at Willisburg Christian Church at (859) 375-2376, or drop your jars of peanut butter off at The Springfield Sun office at 108 Progress Ave. behind the water office and across from the Washington County Extension Office.
The deadline to donate is Jan. 31.