Karen’s Soy Nutrition Project

Plenty continues to support the efforts of Grupo de Soya Santa Maria (GSSM) as they provide bakery foods fortified with toasted soy flour and soymilk to more than 300 undernourished children, as well as a few disabled and elderly adults, two days a week. GSSM has not missed a week of distributing foods to the children since starting in early October of 2010. In addition to the nutrition supplementation activity, printed information is given to parents to help them understand the nutritional needs of their families, and how those can be addressed with local food sources. And, in November this year GSSM started to conduct monthly food processing demonstrations for families, attended mostly by mothers and daughters, about how soyfoods can be made at home, and included in traditional foods and meals.

Plenty is now also working with GSSM to set up a location where they can sell soy and other low cost, high nutrient foods to the public. Part of the sales income is intended to sustain the food distribution services for undernourished children and provide employment opportunities for women who live at the dumpsite. GSSM representatives are improving their management and processing skills. They met with lawyers and government agencies in the last quarter of 2011 to begin the process of legalizing their organization and obtaining the permit needed to sell bakery foods.

Plenty was awarded funding from The Trull and International Foundations and Jewish Helping Hands that will be used in the first half of 2012 to help GSSM meet the costs of equipment, materials, rent and product registration, as they work to initiate their income generating activities. We estimate that $20,000 will be needed to sustain the GSSM nutrition supplementation and education activities during 2012 until the retail outlet begins to show a profit.