We sat down with Matt Saperstein, Director of Digital for This Bar Saves Lives. This Bar Saves Lives is a great concept, because for each bar that is bought, a life-saving packet of food is delivered to a child in need. We’re proud to have This Bar Saves Lives listed on makeena, and we couldn’t wait to ask Matt some questions about this innovative concept!
makeena: Can you give us a brief overview of how This Bar was started and the inspiration behind it?
Matt: A few years ago, Ryan and Todd were visiting Liberia when they witnessed severe acute malnutrition firsthand. It was then that they were also introduced the Plumpy-nut, this life-saving packet of food that is prescribed to children who are days away from death, and then restores them to health in eight to ten weeks. It turns SAM affects over 20 million kids each year – a child dies every ten seconds from hunger. While this solution exists, there aren’t enough of them to go around. That’s where the idea came from: we wanted to provide a sustainable way providing aid to children in need. We launched in the summer of 2103, and we are now available nationally at various hotels, gyms, coffee shops, and grocers, most recently in over two hundred Whole Foods across the country! We’ve already donated over 500 thousand meal packets, and hopefully, this is just the beginning. You can hear more of our story in our launch video here.
makeena: What’s your company culture at This Bar like?
Matt: It’s a very tight-knit group. It’s awesome to see how far we’ve come since then, and we are still trying to learn how to act like a “normal” company, but it seems we are in a great starting point with smart people who work unselfishly. We all know why we got into this, and love working together to find creative ways to help more people. We really value creativity, which is why we make it a point to listen to every member’s ideas – no matter how unrealistic they may sound. We believe that the craziest ideas are often those that change the world the most. And we all really like each other! It’s not uncommon for all of us to be at the same restaurant at the same time at the same table. You might say we are a family. In the sense that we are perhaps too close.
makeena: How many donations do you do each year?
Matt: In a little less than 2 years, we’ve donated 504,269 packets of life-saving food! For every bar sold, a lifesaving packet of food is given to a child in need. We partner with Edesia and Save the Children to provide two different kinds of food aid: the first, Plumpy’Nut® is intended to treat malnutrition, and the second, Nutributter helps prevent malnutrition. In the last decade, Plumpy’Nut® has become the most important weapon in the war on global hunger. It’s a nutrient-rich paste made from peanuts, milk powder, sugar, vegetable oils, and a mixture of vitamins and minerals. Plumpy’Nut® is revolutionary because it’s so simple. It doesn’t need to be mixed with water, cooked or refrigerated, and it has a 2-year shelf life. Three a day for seven weeks and Plumpy’Nut® takes a child from near death to certain survival.
While there are millions of severely malnourished children that require the immediate help of Plumpy’Nut® , the best long term solution for the global tragedy of childhood malnutrition is prevention. Nutributter® was designed for undernourished children below the age of two to prevent stunting—a condition caused by a diet lacking in essential calories, proteins, fats, vitamins and minerals—which not only affects a child’s growth, but also their lifelong health and productivity.
Between these two incredible products, we are able to contribute to both the prevention and treatment of acute malnutrition in children around the world.
makeena: How do you get out and make an impact in local communities?
Matt: We participate in a ton of great events around our community, from Let’s Move nutrition awareness events at a local college to sponsoring a local running club. We’re always looking for great ways to giveback to our local community – take action here.
makeena: How can people have This Bar sold in an outlet near them if it is not currently sold?
Matt: Great question! You can let us know about your favorite stores here.
makeena: How do your bars fit into the lifestyle of someone who wants to live healthily and sustainably?
Matt: Our bars are made with all-natural ingredients that are sourced from some of the best farms around, which means our gluten-free, non-GMO verified bars are a great snack to keep you healthy. We also use fair trade vanilla extract, Rainforest Alliance certified cocoa, and bee-friendly almonds so that you can snack sustainably!
Currently on makeena, we’re offering $1.00 off any This Bar Saves Lives. Download makeena on the app store to redeem!