Nutrition bars sold in TCU Bookstore to help African children

Students can now buy a nutrition bar in the TCU Barnes & Noble Bookstore that will send sustenance to a malnourished child in Africa.

Junior geography major Meredith Hardwick and junior political science major Noah Hughes are the campus directors of the TCU branch of Two Degrees. The program sends a nutrition pack to a hungry child in Malawi for every bar purchased.

Hardwick and Hughes are two of the 60 campus directors across the country, according to the Two Degrees website.

“It’s kind of like TOMS, but with food,” Hughes said. TOMS is a company that gives a pair of shoes to a child in need for each pair purchased.

The nutrition packs sent to Africa from Two Degrees are called Ready-to-Use Foods  from Valid Nutrition and have been approved by the World Health Organization. RUFs contain a therapeutic paste designed to treat malnutrition, according to the Two Degrees website.

The children are given RUFs because they are bloated from starvation and cannot eat solid food, Hughes said. They are designed to be eaten out of the packet and do not need to be mixed with water, which could contaminate the paste, according to the Valid Nutrition website.

Hardwick found out about Two Degrees this summer and sent Hughes a Facebook message encouraging him to research the company.

Hughes said he was interested in non-profit marketing or business because he liked helping people. Working for the young organization provided experience that other companies could not have offered, he said.

Hughes said he would like to improve marketing of the mission of Two Degrees to students. A bar sampling and information session was set up in the bookstore Tuesday. Students who spoke with them were interested in becoming involved, Hughes said.

Hardwick said she was trying to get Stay Wired and other coffee shops as well as TCU Dining Services to sell the bars. Free samples were sent to multiple companies to test out the bars in the hopes of future sales, Hardwick said.

Two Degrees paired up with Whole Foods Market across the nation, but there are no stores in Fort Worth, according to their website.

Since Two Degrees bars recently started selling in the bookstore, Hardwick said she hoped to see them more around campus next semester.

Senior strategic communication major Amy Pesoli said she would buy them in the future and inform her friends of the bars as well. She said she did not know that the bookstore was selling the bars and was not familiar with the organization.

“I’m always more inclined to buy something if I know that it’s going to a good cause,” Pesoli said.

The bookstore is currently selling the bars for $2.50. Pesoli said she thought it was a good price. There are also virtual bars available online, for which a donation is accepted and a nutrition packet is sent to Malawi.

The bars come in chocolate peanut, cherry almond and apple pecan, and are gluten free, vegan and low in sodium. Chocolate peanut has been the most popular flavor from feedback received, Hardwick said.

Visit the website for more information or to buy bars.