Community

Langley group helps malnourished

Special food packets are being donated by a Langley-based charity to help malnourished children in the Horn of Africa.  - Submitted photo
Special food packets are being donated by a Langley-based charity to help malnourished children in the Horn of Africa.
— image credit: Submitted photo

A Langley non-profit organization, The Food For Famine Society (FFF), is calling on Lower Mainland residents to join its efforts to help feed children in the Horn of Africa.

The society is asking for cash donations to help purchase supplies of individual packets of Ready-To-Use Therapeutic Food (RUTF), which is used to help treat children under the age of five who are suffering from severe malnutrition. Thousands of children in Kenya, Somalia and Ethiopia are suffering the effects of extreme malnutrition as a result of drought conditions in areas where rain has not fallen in any significant amount for over two years.

“As Canadians, we often forget how lucky we are to live in one of the most beautiful and bountiful countries in the world,” says Mary Martini, founder of the Food For Famine Society. “For thousands of children who are fleeing the drought and political instability in southern Somalia to refugee camps elsewhere in the region, RUTF can mean the difference between life and death.”

The Food For Famine Society is collaborating with World Vision in its efforts to help children and their families in the Horn of Africa. Money raised by the society will be used to purchase RUTF from an internationally approved supplier. The RUTF supplies will be donated to World Vision to distribute through its established relief and development network.

“Already one generous donor has committed to match all donations we receive to fill a 40-foot container with RUTF,” says Martini. “Filling this container will mean initially that over 1,600 boxes of this life-saving food will be sent to help feed hungry children in Africa.”

Langley City Mayor Peter Fassbender, who is a member of the board of directors of World Vision Canada, and the spokesperson for this campaign, says World Vision is grateful for the support it is receiving from the Food For Famine Society and for the initial donation of RUTF supplies.

“In addition to what Food For Famine Society is doing, everyone should know that the Government of Canada is matching all charitable donations made to organizations like the FFF Society and World Vision for the Horn of Africa relief efforts,” Fassbender said. “This has the effect of doubling the impact of every donation on a dollar-for-dollar basis. The deadline for the Government of Canada matching funds is Sept. 16.

“The need is urgent and this campaign is very timely.  I am delighted that a local Langley organization has stepped up to the plate to address this tragic need,” he added.

For information on the Food For Famine Society and to make a donation to this effort for the Horn of Africa,  visit the society’s website at www.foodforfamine.org.

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