By Henry Uche, Lagos
The Lagos Food Bank in partnership with Nutzy Peanuts says it has set out to feed at least 250,000 malnourished and indigent children in every low-cost private nursery and primary school in Lagos.
Speaking at the Launch of “Buy a jar, feed a child campaign” by the Food Bank and Nutzy Peanut CSR Initiative, in Lagos, the founder of Food Bank, Michael Sunbola, said the 250,000 target was the bank’s short term goal while its long term goal was to feed at least 250,000,000 pupils still in Lagos.
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According to him, the aim was to bring Hunger to Zero point, promote Good Health & Wellbeing which automatically enhance quality learning.
‘We understand that most children go to school empty stomachs. So we go took it upon ourselves to feed them Three (3) times every week (Every Tues, Wednesday & Thursday) as part of our school’s feeding programme.
‘We buy Nutzy Peanut Butter from our partner- Ajrena Foods Ltd at a reduced cost which helps to fix malnutrition in children. You know we can’t achieve quality education when school pupils are hungry, despite every other thing put in place,’ he said.
On her part, the nutrition/programme officer of the food bank, Abimbola Olukoya, revealed that the organisation has other programmes such as Temporary Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP)- a general food distribution programme; Education Enhancement Intervention (EDUFOOD)- for Food Insecure Students; Nutritious Meal Plan (NUMEPLAN) intervention for malnourished & Vulnerable Mothers & children; Nutrition Intervention for Diabetes Self-Management (NIDS) Program – which sensitises diabetes patients with relevant knowledge to live longer and healthier and provide them with diabetes compliance food items.
According to her, other humanitarian services they offer are job placement programme that links persons with some set skills to potential employers and family farming programme which empowers women for different agricultural ventures like Poultry, snail farming and vegetable seedlings.
‘The economy is not getting any better, we want to tackle food insecurity, already we have reached out to over six million families in our school feeding programme, and we remain auspicious to do greater. This is our service to divinity through service to humanity,’ she affirmed
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Speaking on the partnership, the Head of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) for Ajrena Foods Ltd, Serena Ramnani, said the essence of the collaboration was to ensure every child in Lagos gets a pack of Nutzy Peanut Butter, manufactured to fix malnutrition in children.
‘The whole idea is when an adult consumers buy a jar of Nutzy Creamy, it automatically means a free sachet of peanut butter for a child in Lagos, so the more people buy a jar of Nutzy Peanut Butter, the greater (in number) of children get our free sachet of peanut butter.
Ramnani stressed that the food bank is our trusted channel to pass across this gift to every child under 5 and lactating mothers in Lagos that fall under their Nutritious Meal Plan Intervention for Vulnerable Mothers and Children (NUMEPLAN).
‘Our aim is to donate at least 100,000 sachets of Nutzy Peanut Butter in next 2 months. We want to play a more active role in the fight against child malnutrition that is ‘silently’ plaguing the nation. The crisis is escalating in an undetected way with an estimated 80% of children affected not receiving the adequate treatment they need.
‘Without treatment, this condition affects the immune system, delays development both physically and mentally, stunts growth and causes death. According to UNICEF, severe acute malnutrition (SAM) is predicted to be the leading cause of death in children aged 0-5,’ she stated.
She added that peanut butter was often the first course of treatment administered to malnourished children; nutrient-dense, it is high in protein and heart-healthy fats, it is calorie-dense.
Given the numerous benefits, peanut paste has towards treating malnutrition and our close proximity to the crisis, we feel a strong sense of urgency to play a more active role in helping out.
‘When children/mothers in need of calories arrive at the Food Bank, their nutritionists conduct a series of nutritional assessments to determine those that need enrolment to the programme. All those enrolled will receive bi-weekly monitoring and access to Nutzy Peanut Butter sachets alongside other nutritious food items,’ she added.
JTF kills 6 IPOB suspects in Imo
From Stanley Uzoaru, Owerri
A Joint Task Force (JTF) of the Nigeria military and police yesterday averted danger at the palace of the Chairman, Imo State Council of Traditional Rulers, Eze Emmanuel Okeke, when it killed six suspected members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), who attempted to attack the premises.
Spokesperson of the State police, Michael Abattam, in a statement, yesterday, said the hoodlums, who were sighted in three Hilux vans, shot sporadically while advancing at the palace of the traditional ruler, in Orlu, at about 8am.
But before the suspects could cause any havoc, according to Abattam, the police tactical team and the military, who got a hint of their operation, engaged them in a gun duel and, in the process, six of them were killed, while others escaped with serious bullet wounds. One of the vehicles of the team was bombed by the hoodlums who threw a petrol chemical bomb at it, Abattam said.
He said: “On their way, the hoodlums, on sighting the combined team, engaged them in a gun duel, throwing petrol bombs. The gallant team responded, positioning themselves professionally. In the exchange of gun fire that ensued, the hoodlums were overwhelmed due to the superior fire-power of the combined team and, in the process, six of the hoodlums were neutralised, while others escaped with various degrees of gunshot injuries.
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“The combined team did not relent in their effort, they chased the hoodlums, recovering one pump action gun, three blood stained cutlasses and three Hilux vehicles suspected to have been snatched from innocent citizens,” Abattam said.
He added that efforts were on top gear to arrest other fleeing hoodlums, while security in Orlu and other areas have been beefed up to forestall any further attack.
However, normalcy has been restored in the area while the corpses of the neutralised bandits have been deposited in the mortuary, the police spokesperson said.
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Arsonists burn Anambra EEDC office, 32 vehicles
From David Onwuchekwa, Nnewi
The Ogidi District of Enugu Electricity Distribution Company PLC (EEDC) was, yesterday, set ablaze by unidentified arsonists, leaving about 32 utility and operational vehicles all burnt, including other assets and equipment within the premises.
The Head, Corporate Communications, EEDC, Mr Emeka Ezeh, made the disclosure in a release made available to Daily Sun.
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Ezeh lamented that efforts made to reach the Anambra State Fire Service at the time of the incident to rescue the situation did not yield any positive result.
He said members of staff who were on ground to assist in salvaging the situation were helpless, as they watched the office building and other assets go down in flames.
Mr Eze said it later took the intervention of the Hon Commissioner for Utilities, Anambra State, Engr Julius Chukwuemeka, at about 9.05am, yesterday morning, to bring the Fire Service team down to the scene of the incident.
“The management of EEDC expressed shock over this ugly incident which is happening at a time the company has invested so much to improve on its operations and transform the socio-economic landscape of the area.
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“This is a big loss to EEDC and a great setback to the efforts being made by the company to strengthen its network and improve the quality of services to its customers within Ogidi and Anambra State at large. We have already brought this development to the attention of the relevant authorities and it is expected that proper investigation will be carried out and the perpetrators of this dastardly act brought to book.
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“There is no way a developing economy as ours can progress if we continue to record this kind of incident,” Eze said.
It was gathered that the arsonists gained access into the office complex by pulling down part of the wall as they attacked one of the security personnel manning the office and inflicted several machete wounds on his head, leg and arm, and demanded his gun, while his other colleagues ran for their lives. The victim is currently receiving treatment at a hospital.
(Continued on www.sunnewsonline.com)
The company’s spokesman thanked God that no life was lost as he condemned the act which he noted could not be justified by the perpetrators, and prayed that it did not reoccur.