Jeff Masters Weather Blog

Solar-powered factory produces food for malnourished Haitian kids » Yale Climate Connections

Hundreds of thousands of Haitian children suffer from acute malnutrition. It’s a long-standing crisis driven by poverty, civil unrest, and weather disasters made worse by global warming.

“As a pediatrician, I felt like if I could do something, I should do something,” says Dr. Patricia Wolff.

Twenty years ago, Wolff started Meds and Food for Kids. The nonprofit makes vitamin-fortified peanut paste used to treat malnutrition.

For the past decade, the work’s been based at a small factory in northern Haiti. It employs local residents and uses ingredients grown by Haitian farmers.

But grid electricity does not reach the factory, so it’s long been powered by diesel generators, and in the past, fuel supply shortages have forced production to slow or stop.

But no longer. The factory recently installed solar panels and battery storage that will supply most of the energy the factory needs.

Jeff Klopfenstein, president of the board of Meds and Food for Kids, managed the project.

“By producing electricity from the solar power, which is abundantly available in Haiti, we can run our factory more reliably, and efficiently,” Klopfenstein says. “That means we can treat more kids and save more lives in Haiti.”

Reporting credit: Sarah Kennedy / ChavoBart Digital Media

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