The story of Nepal Nutrition begins in 2008 when Mark Arnoldy, a student at the University of Colorado, took a trip to Nepal. This trip turned transformative due to a severe allergic reaction Mark experienced when exposed to a peanut butter-like substance.
Those who have experienced or witnessed an anaphylactic reaction know all too well what Mark experienced: swelling around the throat and eyes. The closure of his eyes offered insight into the suffering of severely malnourished children in Nepal, a country with one of the world's highest rates of malnourishment. Mark's eyes swelled as a result of contact with food. In the terminal stages of malnutrition, the children's eyes swell due to lack of food.
Mark survived his experience and emerged with a determination to help ensure the same result for those suffering from malnourishment. In a serendipitous twist of fate, his research into the problem revealed that the same substance which threatened his life could deliver life to tens of thousands.
This substance isn't the peanut butter you'll find on the shelves of your local grocery store. It is a nutritionally rich product better known as a Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Food. Due to its many advantages, including its lengthy shelf-life and the fact that it doesn't require water or preparation, its use is recommended by organizations like the WHO, UNICEF, and WFP.
Armed with this knowledge and the resolve drawn from his experience, Mark created a non-profit organization, Nepal Nutrition, with a three-fold mission:
1. Creating a public-private partnership model to produce a peanut-based RUTF at-cost in Nepal.
2. Treating severely malnourished children directly in rural Nepal through a community-based treatment program.
3. Developing innovative, sustainable funding streams through partnerships with businesses in order to finance treatment in Nepal.
The partnership between Nepal Nutrition and 5 Pound Apparel developed thanks to the fact that before he attended the University of Colorado and the Harvard University School of Public Health, Mark went to Kickapoo High School in Springfield, Missouri along with two of our founders. Nepal Nutrition continues to demonstrate that peanut butter can save lives and we are grateful for the opportunity to contribute by ensuring that 5 pounds more is delivered to those in need for each of our shirts sold.