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What is super cereal? Church funds help mothers and children in Kenya beat malnutrition

Large Church donation allows the World Food Programme to expand its nutritional treatment like super cereal to more women

Mothers and children wait in line for food at the Ifo Refugee Camp in Garissa County, Kenya

Mothers and children wait in line for food at the Ifo Refugee Camp in Garissa County, Kenya, on Dec. 8, 2022.

Leslie Nilsson, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints


What is super cereal? Church funds help mothers and children in Kenya beat malnutrition

Large Church donation allows the World Food Programme to expand its nutritional treatment like super cereal to more women

Mothers and children wait in line for food at the Ifo Refugee Camp in Garissa County, Kenya

Mothers and children wait in line for food at the Ifo Refugee Camp in Garissa County, Kenya, on Dec. 8, 2022.

Leslie Nilsson, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

After The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints gave $32 million to the World Food Programme in September 2022, the organization used the funding to immediately expand their food assistance for mothers and children in need.

One of those ways is through super cereal — a highly fortified porridge made of blended corn, soybean, dried skim milk and sweetener. It provides calories, proteins and vitamins to pregnant and breastfeeding mothers. 

WFP has been able to expand its nutritional treatment from eight to 15 countries to bless more than 365,000 children and 170,000-plus pregnant and lactating women, reported ChurchofJesusChrist.org.

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A nutrition specialist uses a mid-upper arm circumference (MUAC) tool to measure a child’s nutrition level at the Ifo Refugee Camp in Garissa County, Kenya, on Dec. 8, 2022. This tool allows health workers to quickly assess whether someone is acutely malnourished.

Leslie Nilsson, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Deka Hassan, a nutritionist at the Iftin Health Centre in Garissa, Kenya, said super cereal boosts the immune system and protective walls against anemia.

“It’s evident from the mothers that once they start taking the porridge there’s enough milk flow,” Hassan said. “The baby is healthy, the mother is happy, and that means the community is happy also.”

Fatima is a mother living at Ifo Refugee Camp. She has given birth to 14 children, including twins. She has received the super cereal to cook over her fire.

“When I take the porridge, I’m able to get breastmilk, [with] which I’m able to breastfeed my baby,” Fatima said. “So, my family brings me joy. I am happy with my kids, and for now we are all healthy.”

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Fatima and her youngest child receive nourishment at the Ifo Refugee Camp in Garissa County, Kenya, on Dec. 8, 2022.

Leslie Nilsson, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

The family are among 320,000 refugees and asylum seekers — many from Somalia — who live at three temporary settlements in Kenya. Each camp was built to hold 50,000 people but today hold double that amount. They are run by the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), in collaboration with organizations such as WFP and the Kenya Red Cross.

As reported in December 2022, the Church’s donation to WFP is also helping refugees at the camps receive nutrient-rich foods to eat.

Shahmat Warsame, Garissa County nutrition coordinator, said the supplements and super cereal help people be “more successful [and] hopeful. It makes people come to the hospital and have faith that now they will get something from the hospital.”

She continued, “At the end of the day, not only the county is supported — even the country is supported. All of Africa is supported. If we don’t have children who are severely malnourished, if we don’t have people die, then it is a success for the world.”

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Fatima and her family at the Ifo Refugee Camp in Garissa County, Kenya, on Dec. 8, 2022. A donation from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to the World Food Programme allows more women and children to receive nutrient-rich foods.

Leslie Nilsson, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

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