This Saturday, UVa’s chapter of Project Peanut Butter will host a five-kilometer race… with a twist. To raise money for the group’s efforts in combating global malnutrition, the club will bring community members together tomorrow for a 5k with challenges at each kilometer.
The mission of the organization’s international counterpart, Project Peanut Butter, is to create and distribute a peanut-based paste called RUTF, or “ready-to-use therapeutic food.” The paste consists of roasted ground peanuts, powdered milk, vegetable oil, sugar, and vitamins/minerals, all of which are used to combat the largest cause of child death globally today: malnutrition.
In “using effective, locally produced ready-to-use therapeutic foods,” the organization strives to fight malnutrition in areas like sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia, where its food therapy enables about 75-95% of those eating it to fully recover. Meanwhile, most traditional superfoods only work at a 25-40% recovery rate.
UVa’s chapter of the organization plans to host this Saturday’s event in the hopes of promoting the efficiency of this superfood and the work that PPB is doing internationally to fight malnourishment.
Cara Snead is the group’s Global Projects Chair. Now a fourth year, Snead says the decision to join the club three years ago had an obvious answer.
“I’m really interested in global development and global public health,” she said. “So it was just a natural thing that drew my interest.”
She explains that the event this Saturday strays from the average 5K on purpose; the structure of the race is aimed at enticing even the least likely of runners to participate.
“Instead of just straight running, which we all thought was kind of boring, and I don’t like running,… we have [set up] different stations at each kilometer where you’ll have to do an activity,” Snead told WUVA News.
With each challenge completed, runners will be entered into a pot of the group’s raffle prizes, which include gift cards to Chipotle, Red Eye Cookies, and Mellow Mushroom. In this way, the race takes the focus away from running and puts it on the team-building activities that participants will find along the route.
The race is only $7 to participate ($10 on race day), and all proceeds go to the group’s international charity. The race will start at 10 AM outside of Brooks Hall.
For anyone interested in donating to or learning more about Project Peanut Butter International, please visit their website.
To get information about registering for the 5K, please visit PB&5K’s Facebook event.