MANA Nutrition, a nonprofit that produces ready-to-use therapeutic food to fight global malnutrition, will expand its facility in Ben Hill County, Georgia. The $36 million project is expected to create 10 jobs.
The company will construct a 38,000-square-foot addition to its existing facility in Fitzgerald, which will facilitate increased RUTF production and add a new jar line to serve the domestic market. Currently, the facility can produce up to 121,000 pounds of RUTF per day, which is enough to feed 4,000 children suffering from malnutrition for six weeks.
“At Mana we are proud to harness two of Georgia’s greatest strengths: people and peanuts, to serve and feed the world. We are proud that our small, rural community is one of the world’s largest suppliers of Ready to Use Food for malnourished children,” said Mark Moore, co-founder and CEO of MANA Nutrition. “This upgrade to our facility will allow us to feed up to 3 million children a year. Hopefully our effort is an inspiration to others who might not have much, but can do what they can with what they have to make our world a better place.”
The new expansion will increase MANA’s production of ready-to-use therapeutic food three-fold and mark MANA’s first step in addressing malnutrition in the United States. These RUTFs are composed of peanut paste, milk, and a special mix of vitamins and minerals and are distributed globally to fight malnutrition.
“Agriculture has long been the backbone of Georgia’s economy, and it is extremely gratifying to know that MANA Nutrition will leverage our expertise in agriculture and logistics assets to help feed those in need around the world,” said GDEcD Commissioner Pat Wilson. “Congratulations to our partners in Fitzgerald for their efforts to support this exciting project that will not only benefit Georgians, but people around the globe.”
MANA is addressing the root causes and effects of malnutrition, starting by treating children with severe acute malnutrition. Since its creation in 2009, the company has helped nearly 5.5 million children and is predicted to feed an additional 1 million in 2022 alone.
“Feeding the world from rural Georgia is not a new concept. The manner in which Mana Nutrition is doing it is,” said Jason Dunn, Director of the Fitzgerald-Ben Hill Development Authority. “Through the combination of Georgia Grown peanuts and the state-of-the-art production of life-saving therapeutic foods, Mana’s continued investment in Fitzgerald is not only strengthening, but also expanding the reach of Georgia’s ag legacy.”