For many people in the United States, the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday means friends, family and food. It’s a good time to reflect on what you’re grateful for, and it’s also a good time to highlight an organization focused on child nutrition, SPOON.Cindy Kaplan and Mishelle Rudzinski and headquartered in Portland, Oregon, SPOON’s mission is “to nourish children who are highly vulnerable to malnutrition by empowering their caregivers around the globe.”
Their work is focused on children with disabilities, and those living outside of family care because these children are much more likely to experience malnutrition than their peers. SPOON approaches this issue in three ways which you can learn about in this short video or by continuing to read below.
The first step is training for caregivers such as community health workers, nurses and social workers. Topics include nutrition, feeding and disabilities. This training has been provided across 17 countries and there are also self-paced, online courses available to help the program scale.
Once training has been completed, the caregivers can access a digital health app called Count Me In. The app includes educational content and assessment tools. It helps service providers track mealtime, growth, and anemia for children in their care and makes recommendations for intervention when needed.
The impact of this work is impressive. Last year, SPOON trained 352 people in 8 countries, who worked with over 13,000 children. For children being monitored with the Count Me In app, 35% saw an improvement in growth, 40% had a drop in anemia rates, and 82% experienced improvement in rates of safe feeding positions.
If you’d like to help SPOON increase their impact around the world, there are many ways to do so. Volunteer your time, donate your money and share their message on social media. Follow SPOON on Facebook and on Instagram @spoonfoundation.