What’s a Peanut Butter House?
The Peanut Butter House is a building that contains equipment for producing an enriched peanut butter, also known as an RUTF. Originally constructed on the property of First Presbyterian Church in Fort Collins, CO to raise awareness of the hunger crisis in Africa, the value of RUTF’s, and the RUTF production process, the house is now headed to it’s permanent location in Monrovia, Liberia.
What are RUTF’s?
RUTF means Ready To Use Therapeutic Food. These foods are powerful combatants against malnutritition in Africa.
Why Peanut Butter?
The peanut butter made will contain additional ingredients including vitamins and powdered milk, then it will be packaged for distribution to those facing malnutrition. You can learn more about a similar peanut product by watching this.
Through work with partners from Hope Feeds and St. Joseph’s Hospital we found Transformation International in Monrovia, Liberia. We believe the peanut butter house will both serve these young men, giving them rewarding work and service opportunity. The peanut butter they create will then benefit St. Joseph’s Hospital, Sisters of Charity orphanage and a nearby orphanage constructed by fellow Fort Collins friends.
What is the current status?
Since returning from our trip in Liberia, we have good news and bad news…
The good news is that the trip and subsequent conversations have validated that the need is greater than we anticipated. As we understand it, a lot of international relief funding is getting pulled away from Liberia because time has passed since the country’s acute civil war crisis. The government and local NGOs are eager for a Liberia-produced product that can help fill in the gap that will be created when this aid funding goes away. On the trip we were able to see first-hand the feeding centers that would be helped by access to this peanut butter product.
The bad news is that the Peanut Butter House needs a remodel! Actually, an addition would be a more accurate description of what is needed. Government regulations and World Health Organization food production sanitation requirements spell out a need for a couple of extra rooms added onto the house, including a cloakroom/wash room and a separate packaging room. At the same time we need to gear up for an increased production capacity from our earlier intentions.
How can I help?
We are learning a lot and getting some questions answered while at the same time discovering new questions to ask. It is clear that to move forward will require raising more funds. We are working on solidifying our list of what is needed to get to production phase, filling in gaps in our business plan, and determining avenues for fund-raising. We are also ever-expanding our contacts and people who can bring different expertise and new energy to the effort who will help us get the Peanut Butter House into production as soon as we can. Please let us know if you would like to help join us in the effort!