URI students kick off social media challenge to fight childhood malnutrition

#MakeYourGreenCount Plumpy’Nut Team: Sergio Suhett '15, Kylie Rice '15, David St. Amant '16, Kimberly DeLande '15 with Rhody and President Dooley at the campaign kickoff in the Memorial Union on March 2.
#MakeYourGreenCount Plumpy’Nut Team: Sergio Suhett ’15, Kimberly DeLande ’15, Kylie Rice ’15, David St. Amant ’16, with Rhody and President Dooley at the campaign kickoff in the Memorial Union on March 2.


University of Rhode Island students are fighting global childhood malnutrition, spreading the word and raising money for Edesia with the #MakeYourGreenCount Plumpy’Nut Challenge, a March social media campaign encouraging people to “get their green on” and donate by St. Patrick’s Day, March 17. The students believe the Plumpy’Nut Challenge can match the success of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge that made widespread impact last summer. They’re off to a good start, winning the attention of blogger William Lambers, whose story about their campaign was picked up by the Huffington Post.

#MakeYourGreenCount plays off the “getting your green on” associated with St. Patrick’s Day celebrations and the idea of making your green—your money—count for something important. URI students, faculty, staff and administrators will participate.

Edesia is a Providence-based nonprofit that makes a vitamin-packed peanut-butter paste distributed by humanitarian groups to children throughout the world, from Niger to Pakistan. The Plumpy’Nut Challenge project exemplifies URI’s goals to connect students with businesses as part of experiential learning, embrace the global community and engage in community service. The students created a campaign video as part of their project.

Some 220 million children worldwide suffer from malnutrition, a condition that not only leads to serious health problems but also death. Students, alumni, business leaders and local celebrities are being asked to donate $5 and challenge 10 others to do the same. The cost of a life-saving seven-week treatment of Plumpy’nut is just $55. URI’s Big Thinkers, a student group, took the challenge, and challenged 10 other URI student groups to do the same. Their #MakeYourGreenCount challenge video is a great example of how the challenge can work.

For more information, visit Facebook, Twitter, and #MakeYourGreenCount.