Sunday, April 1, 2012

Malawi Food Costs Rising

I am at a bit of a crossroads and am not sure which path to take in regard to feeding. It is an issue I have wrestled with before.

The issue is, do we feed more kids a less nutritional meal OR feed less kids a highly nutritional meal? 

Currently the Malawi currency (kwacha) is in free fall and is losing value by the day, making food costs go through the roof. The government refuses to devalue the kwacha vs. the dollar and therefore each dollar that I send to Malawi only yields 165 kwacha (Check out this article for more info: http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5h-stJNLykS9piOin_v3_xJhB77OA?docId=CNG.91f54df3baaf54aa7554fca3c3d379df.711), while on the black market you can get 300 kwacha. What that means for us is that as food prices rise, we are able to buy less food with the same amount of money. A small example of this is: we were buying tomatoes for 10 kwacha only a few months ago, they are now 30 kwacha.

I have told Geofrey that I really want to feed rice, vegetables, beans, and clean water one day, and nsima (corn flower paste), vegetables, beans, and clean water the next. We have been doing this, and although last month I sent the most money for food that I have in a long time, we were only able to feed 50 kids due to the rising costs... Geofrey is recommending rice and nsima only for a while.

I am leaning towards doing what Geofrey says because he is on the ground there and is getting pressure from the villages to feed more kids. Perhaps we can find a balance of every other day doing vegetables? Any feedback would be great!!!!

Thanks for all you do to help!

Shane Mast
Director

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