Ithaca College’s Food for Thought is holding its second annual Walk for Plumpy’nut at 11 a.m. Saturday at Cass Park to raise funds to fight childhood malnutrition
All proceeds from the walk will be used to purchase Plumpy’nut, a high-protein peanut-based food, for feeding stations in Ethiopia established by Concern Worldwide, a global humanitarian organization dedicated to fighting hunger and poverty. This nutritional aid, unlike others, requires no preparation, is easy to distribute and is low in cost, which makes it an effective and practical tool for the feeding stations.
Food for Thought is a student organization dedicated to improve the lives of children around the world who are denied access to basic living necessities and a proper nutrition.
Junior Elizabeth Stoltz, founder and president of the organization, started the Walk for Plumpy’nut as a junior in high school in the town of York, Pa. After organizing three successful walks in York, Stoltz decided to bring the walk to Ithaca last year.
Colleen Wormsley, communications director of Food for Thought, said the first walk was a complete success.
“We had about 80 people come, and we raised over $1,500, which was really cool because it was our first one, and nobody knew what Plumpy’nut was,” she said.
After last year’s walk, the group set a higher goal for this year’s event. The four previous walks have raised a total of $16,500. This year, the club’s goal is to break $20,000.
Stoltz said she credits the Ithaca community for giving the organization a boost.
“A couple days after I sent a letter to International Food Network to possibly support us, I got a phone call from the CEO saying that he’s already worked with Plumpy’nut, and that he’d love to work with us,” she said.
International Food Network is one of the local sponsors for the walk. Other sponsors include Gimme! Coffee, ElBe Photography, Aztech DataSystems, Lucienne’s, Moosewood Restaurant, Ithaca College Dining Services, Baking for Good and La Tourelle Resort and Spa.
Stoltz said the event is especially relevant now that the worst famine in six decades has hit the horn of Africa.
Club member Lindsey Smith said she encourages all students to participate in both the organization and the Walk for Plumpy’nut.
“It’s just a great cause and a great group of people — I promise you’ll have fun,” she said.