Do not hesitate to contact us with questions, comments, or ideas:
135 SE Main St, Suite 201
Portland, OR 97214
Child health programs focus almost exclusively on prenatal care, breastfeeding and nutritional support to children through their families and communities. They do not reach the tens of millions of children1 living in orphanages and foster homes, nor children with disabilities who are so often kept isolated. SPOON exists to fill this gap.
SPOON has prevalence rates of malnutrition in orphanages as high as 93% in children ages 0-5 years.2 Such risks extend domestically to children in U.S. foster care and internationally to those with disabilities. These kids are often fed diets void of key nutrients. Equally concerning is how they are fed, often times without caregiver contact and/or lying flat on their backs, at a pace they simply can’t sustain without choking and aspirating. Gone unaddressed, the risks to a child’s health, cognitive development, and length and quality of life are profound.
Under-nourished children are unhealthy and are at higher risk for being placed and/or remaining in institutional care. Bolstering the capacity of families and communities to care for these children is a vital component to breaking the cycle that perpetuates institutionalization and its devastating impacts.
What We Do
We do NOT provide food aid, rather we use our resources to teach others how to feed children safely and adequately. We give them the tools and expertise needed to provide optimal care in low resource settings, as well as training them to teach others, thereby cascading our impact to reach more children.
SPOON complements traditional nutrition programs through our package of assessment and intervention tools that address what and how children are fed. Solutions have been designed to accommodate for the crucial and unique nutrition and feeding needs of children impacted by disability and/or institutional care. These tools address many of the root causes of malnutrition, including:
Feeding Practices – Assessing and improving caregiver feeding practices for young children and children with disabilities
Nutrition Screening – Identifying children at-risk and prescribing individualized interventions for children with complex needs
Diet – Evaluating and optimizing diet and supplementation, including food preparation in institutional settings
SPOON spreads our expertise and tools through international and local partners who are already established on the ground, leveraging their regional knowledge, relationships and staff presence to expand more quickly and effectively than we could alone. This strategy, rooted heavily in partnership, allows SPOON to deliver solutions that are locally contextualized, locally owned, and sustained over the long term.
We are steadfast about collecting data to measure results, and to demonstrate the need and impact so these children will no longer be left out of programs, and the conversation.
Our tools have been field-tested with clear and compelling results, drastically reducing malnutrition and life-threatening feeding practices in orphanages, foster care and community settings. Having expanded on early successes in Kazakhstan, which resulted in national changes in nutrition standards and diet, SPOON’s impact spans South and Southeast Asia, Central Asia, Eastern Europe and the United States, with plans to expand to Bulgaria and Ethiopia in 2016.
We are inspired every day by the resilience of the children we serve, who are a constant reminder that every life has equal value and incredible potential.
1 This number is an estimate based on input from field partners. These children have fallen off the statistical map and are not being tracked. 2 At least one nutrition problem including wasting, stunting, underweight and anemia.