On Tuesday, Oct. 4, Lipscomb’s campus was visited by the MANA Nutrition Manabago, a 1971 Winnebago with a big mission: saving the lives of 10,000 children.
Manabago operators Alex Cox and Mark Slagle, along with MANA Nutrition CEO Mark Moore, visited Lipscomb to address students and faculty in chapel about the devastating effects of childhood malnutrition and the solutions MANA has offered to the global malnutrition crisis.
“Every six seconds a child dies from severe acute malnutrition,” Moore told the Lipscomb community at The Gathering, Oct. 4. “That’s more than AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined.”
MANA produces and distributes a ready-to-use therapeutic food (RUTF), a combination of peanut butter, milk and vitamins that has been proven to save the lives of severely malnourished children. Government and U.N. agencies use RUTF to feed children around the globe.
“Seventy-five percent of brain development occurs in the first 1,000 days of life,” Moore told the students in chapel. “So if you can intervene in a child’s life and provide proper nutrition, you can change everything!”
This fall the Manabago has been road tripping across the nation from campus to campus to educate people on the global effects of childhood malnutrition. The goal is to raise enough support to provide 10,000 children with RUTF treatments before Christmas.
At Lipscomb, Cox and Slagle set up a simulated therapeutic feeding center in Bison Square, sold bracelets, T-shirts and other items to benefit MANA’s mission and offered tours of the Manabago, complete with an eight-track cassette player.
The Manabago also visited David Lipscomb Campus School Monday, Oct. 3, and representatives spoke in their chapel service that morning.
MANA (Mother Administered Nutritive Aid), was started by Harding alumni Moore and Bret Raymond, now MANA Rwanda Director. The nonprofit is based in Charlotte, N.C., and produces its RUTF from a southern Georgia factory. The nonprofit coordinates with several large aid organizations to deliver its RUTF to areas of high malnutrition, with recent distribution in East Africa and Guatemala.
Since its inception in 2008, MANA has grown its capabilities to produce enough six-week treatments of RUTF for 10,000 children each month.