Let’s take it back to January 2010, when Haiti was hit with a shattering 7.3 magnitude earthquake that left 220,000 dead, 300,000 injured, and 1.5 million people homeless. The population was in desperate need of food and medical assistance and many governmental and non-profit organizations offered food assistance and distribution in the form of RTU (Ready To Use) food.
RTU foods are primarily used for emergency feeding situations for malnourished children ages 0 -3 years to bring them up to weight for physical and cognitive development in developing countries. They are made up of protein, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins and minerals.
RTU food traditionally comes in the form of food pastes made of peanuts and/or milk powders that are high in protein, enhanced with vitamins and minerals, and can be packaged and consumed easily.
Today, at the sunset of 2019, 1 in 3 Haitians, or approximately 3.7 million people continue to need urgent assistance to meet their daily food requirements. With the political unrest in Haiti these past 6 months, aid organizations are struggling to provide relief. The need is most dire in children under the age of 5; 10% are underweight, and 22% have stunted growth (Source: USAID).
As part of V'ice Haiti's mission to address malnutrition in Haiti, we decided that shaved ice wasn’t enough. We formulated a second food product to complement the V’ice vitaminized shaved ice cone and provide even better nutrition. And to serve the second part of our mission, reducing unemployment, we had to find a way for the Haitian people to make and distribute this product. It was important to use only locally sourced ingredients as well in order to stimulate the local economy. We found our key ingredient in peanuts, which are native to Haiti, popular among all ages, and already a food staple in many forms.
The V’bar, a product of V’ice Haiti, is a nutritional, crunchy peanut bar packed full of protein, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins and minerals, and was developed in order to provide the daily food requirements for not only children, but the entire population. Made fresh daily from Haitian-sourced peanuts and cornflakes, V’bars are produced and distributed by V’ice Haiti micro-franchisees. Sold for just 5 cents as a 3” square or added to a V’ice cone as a topping, V’bars can greatly increase daily vitamin and mineral intake. The combination of a V’bar and V’ice vitaminized shaved ice cone gives at least 50% of RDA of major vitamins and minerals.
In this time of need we are proud of our team of Haitians that are on the ground getting nutrition to the people.
We need generous donors like you! If you would like to donate or invest in the future of V'ice Haiti, go to https://www.vicehaiti.com/donate
For more information on the V’ice Haiti micro-franchise social venture, go to https://www.vicehaiti.com/the-v-ice-project