In May 2005, UPAVIM opened a soy foods production facility selling soy milk and soy masa foods to the community and providing them to the children of the UPAVIM school and day care. Dairy milk is relatively expensive in La Esperanza, and affordable fresh soy milk at a low price fills a widespread nutritional need in these communities. We use the pulp of the soy in things like spagetti sauce, veggie burgers, granola, cookies and pancakes at the school to increase the protein in the children’s diets. We are also making soft-serve soy ice cream, which is a hugh hit in the community! Currently, we are working on getting a contract to supply milk to the local schools. The production of these goods is increasing the availability of high nutrient low-cost foods in our community, improving awareness of family nutrition needs, and expanding employment opportunities for the members of UPAVIM and the local residents.
Thanks to onsite technical support from Chuck Haren of Plenty International and to funds donated by Rotary Clubs in California (Piedmont Montclair club in Oakland, District 5170) and Colorado (Thompson Valley in Loveland), UPAVIM was able to purchase and install all of the necessary equipment to make this happen.