We call ourselves the MANA village, a community that also happens to be a company. We are a group of social entrepreneurs located in Fitzgerald, Georgia and Charlotte, North Carolina and our day job is developing and providing solutions to address severe cases of malnutrition in children. At the MANA village we make MANA (Mother Administered Nutritive Aid), a ready-to-use therapeutic food (RUTF) made of a fortified peanut paste that has been carefully formulated to provide a child’s basic nutritional needs. Roughly three servings of MANA a day for six weeks can save the life of child suffering from severe acute malnutrition (SAM). We are organizationally structured as a non-profit, but we run our company according to the same tried and true best-practice business principles that are the hallmark of great companies around the globe. We not only make a special fortified peanut butter, we also seek to spread awareness of SAM and the 20 million children it affects every year.
Today, MANA Nutrition can produce as much as 55,000 kg (121,000 lbs) of MANA per day — enough to feed about 4,000 children suffering from SAM over six weeks — and our partners distribute it to places like Kenya, Sudan, Rwanda, Chad, Sierra Leone, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Burundi, North Korea and Guatemala. Much of our product ends up in a village setting, treating the world’s most fragile kids, most often by empowering their moms with simple healthy ready to eat food. From our village to theirs, we are proud partners with the brave and committed mothers of the world. They are incredible and we are thrilled to put such a useful product in their loving hands.
In 2009, Mark Moore learned about RUTF and its impact. Before long, with the help of friends Brett Biggs, David Todd Harmon, Bret Raymond and others, they started MANA Nutrition. Brett Biggs now serves on the board, David Todd leads the MANA operational team and Bret Raymond championed acceptability studies and other efforts in Rwanda before taking his talents to another start up called Pure Charity.
CEO Mark Moore spent nearly ten years working in eastern Uganda, serving as a rural community development worker and missionary. After returning to the United States, he earned a Master’s degree at Georgetown University. He has served as Legislative Fellow and Africa Specialist in the United States Senate for Senator Mary Landrieu, as an Africa Analyst for the Science Applications International Corporation, and as Policy Director for the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute. Prior to co-founding MANA, Mark co-founded Kibo Group, a development organization that houses numerous Africa projects.
Malnutrition contributes to more than half of all childhood deaths. Those deaths are often associated with other deadly infectious diseases like malaria and pneumonia. MANA aims to prevent child deaths due to severe acute malnutrition (SAM) by treating the condition through the production and distribution of ready to use fortified foods.
Quality – In every aspect of MANA Nutrition, we pay fanatical attention to quality. As a food producer this is imperative. Food safety comes from a relentless and systematic commitment to quality. We don’t stop in our factory, we are determined that in everything we do there be incremental evidence that we are serious about being quality people.
Innovation – We understand that collaboration is important for innovation, so we will bring together experts from all backgrounds to discover the next big thing.
Responsibility – We understand our role as a corporate citizen and will act responsibly in every community in which we live and work. This is important because we have an opportunity to not only make our special life-saving peanut butter in the USA, but to encourage and empower others to make it locally.
Sustainability – We desire to make a long term difference in the lives of millions of people. This necessitates that we are around for the long haul. We make a small profit, not so we can build wealth or pay shareholders, but so that we can reinvest in our efforts to serve as many kids as possible.
Transparency – We will share as much as possible with anyone who wants to understand how we are using resources to accomplish our mission. And we will remain open to constructive ideas that enable us to be more effective with what has been entrusted to us.