Saturday, October 22, 2011

Project Mercy

And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
Matthew 25:40 
As I was checking out the news portion of the LDS church website, I came across something referring to ATMIT, the nutritious supplement used in several countries to fight hunger and famine. Wanted to know more, I did some research and discovered that it has its connection with Marta Gabre-Tsadick of Ethiopia, the founder of Project Mercy

In 1977, Marta Gabre-Tsadick, and her husband, Demeke Tekle-Wold, (photos of the two) and their dear friends, Pastor Charles and Fran Dickinson, established Project Mercy, Inc., an organization dedicated to providing emergency relief aid, educational assistance, and refugee relocation help to African refugees.  In the 1980s through the 1990s, Marta initiated innovative food and sewing programs that enabled Project Mercy to distribute food and clothing to hundreds of thousands of starving, needy refugees from Ivory Coast, Djibouti, Guinea, Kenya, Malawi, Sudan, and Ethiopia.

ATMIT was developed by Marta and today is supplementing the diets of children in several countries. An LDS church website made this comment about ATMIT.

"Atmit is an excellent source of nutrition," said Elder James W. Hansen, M.D., Ph.D., a medical adviser and a missionary for the Church Welfare Services Department. "It is a milk-containing oat-flour-based nutritional product that is a good complement to whatever nutrition might be available from local sources. It has been used successfully as a well-tolerated food in some cases of extreme starvation. It encourages self-reliance by requiring some preparation by the consumer and the availability of water and fuel for cooking."

Atmit also contains sugar, salt and supplemental vitamins and minerals. The formula was recently improved by Elder Hansen and Dr. Michael L. Dunn, Ph.D., a professor from the BYU Department of Nutrition, Dietetics and Food Science (see related article). A single serving provides 34 percent of the recommended daily allowance of protein, 43 percent of calcium, 99 percent of iron, and high percentages for a dozen vitamins and minerals for children under 5 years old. This formula helps them maintain some nutrition over a short period of time until crops are harvested and they can again thrive on a regular family diet.

For $6 dollars, US, this will feed a child for a month. What a value and what a wonderful use of our fast offering!

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