Two Projects to Help Nicaragua Communities – The Foodie Patootie

Two Projects to Help Nicaragua Communities

My 10 year high school reunion is coming up (I’m not going), but I often wonder how everyone is really doing. Is everyone where they want to be, doing what they want to do? Are there any really successful individuals? Do people actually miss high school like I do?

At graduation I thought about how I wanted my 10 year reunion to go. I vowed to have something, anything that I could be proud of and could have as a talking point surrounded by people whom I hadn’t interacted with in years. Now approaching that time, I don’t know why anyone would put so much thought behind it.

With that being said, I’m proud of my career, my food blog hobby, the things I’ve done and the things I have plans to do. I’d like to think that I would have fared well at my reunion should I have decided to attend.

However, there are two particular individuals who have rocked the post high school stage and they are who this blog post is about. They are high school sweethearts turned husband and wife. For anyone who knew them then, you probably aren’t surprised by what they’ve accomplished.

First, we have Mike. Mike wrote a book called The Coffee Book Project, which is influenced from his stay in Nicaragua where he learned about coffee production and really formed a relationship with those he encountered.

The Coffee Book ProjectImage via

I received my book in the mail not that long ago and immediately sat down to read it. It’s short, but full of heart. The people who live in the rural coffee producing villages of Nicaragua depend on this staple to feed and clothe their family.


The Coffee Book Project takes the reader through the process of the coffee bean, from growing and harvest and beyond. The goal was to connect the consumer with the producer and I think this book accomplished just that! I’m not a coffee drinker really, but I have the occasional Caramel Macchiato and I never gave a thought to the people behind the $5 drink I so easily purchase and consume without a care in the world. The Coffee Book Project has a very informative, eye-opening approach that I appreciate.

A large portion of the proceeds from sales of this book go to supporting literacy in Nicaragua and, once the project is large enough, beyond. The money will be donated in the form of books to those impoverished, coffee-producing villages where a children’s book is a rarity. Consider purchasing The Coffee Book Project here:

Next, we have Tiffany who along with others started Fairleaf Foods. Right now Fairleaf Foods is one of the top 30 finalists in the Start Something That Matters Challenge by GOOD Maker and the TOMS shoe founder, Blake Mycoskie. What you’re about to read will begin and end with an encouraging remark to vote for Fairleaf Foods in this challenge and help them win $50,000 for their seed funding.

Fairleaf Foods

Just like The Coffee Book Project, Fairleaf Foods has its roots in Nicaragua where Tiffany completed her internship for a Masters in Public Health and the other 3 co-founders were volunteering in the Peace Corps. During their stay, they learned about Moringa trees. Moringa is a drought resistant, fast growing and nutrient dense food, very important in Nicaragua and essential to the areas in which they are grown, especially because of the malnutrition that is all too common.

The mission of Fairleaf Foods is to utilize Moringa, use Moringa fortified foods and beverages, create a relationship directly with farmers and form a cycle that benefits the farmers’ communities.

About Moringa (via The Moringa Plant is one of the most nutrient packed plants in the world. Moringa leaves contain gram for gram 7 times the Vitamin C or oranges, 4 times the Vitamin A of carrots, 4 times the Calcium of milk, 3 times the Potassium of bananas, 2 times the Protein of yogurt. It contains more iron than spinach, as well as beta-carotene, Vitamin E, and antioxidants. It has anti-inflammatory and antibiotic effects and has been shown to treat lupus and cancer.

And, because there is no way I can explain the process Fairleaf Foods wants to put into place the way that Tiffany has, I implore you to read the Q&A about the project and then, VOTE! Share with friends and loved ones. Your vote can help Fairleaf Foods win $50,000 to jump start this amazing social enterprise and change a part of the world!

6 Responses to “Two Projects to Help Nicaragua Communities”

  1. michele aquino — June 5, 2013 at 6:30 pm

    Jen, thanks for your kind words of support; this means a lot to us!

    We’ll definitely get together and go eat something that is food blog worthy next time I visit Tampa.

    • Jennifer — June 12th, 2013 @ 9:43 pm

      Definitely, Mike! I have tons of places that I can introduce you too!

  2. Jenn C. — June 6, 2013 at 6:38 am

    I absolutely think you would be a hit at your reunion. I’m planning one for my class in August in Pinellas Park and also planned my ten year reunion 4 years ago. Everyone seemed most interested in their classmates’ happiness in career, love and family.

    I love what your classmates are doing for Nicaragua! I’ll have to look into the book for my husband. He’s a coffee connoisseur and that could be a good Father’s Day gift. I’ve never heard of the moringa plant, but it sounds perfect. Your friend definitely has my vote. I’ll share on my FB page too.

    • Jennifer — June 12th, 2013 @ 9:48 pm

      Sorry for the late reply, Jenn! WP didn’t send me any notifications for new comments. I think you should definitely look into the book, and thank you for voting for Fairleaf Foods!!!

  3. DB-The Foodie Stuntman — June 6, 2013 at 11:31 pm

    Your classmates sound very interesting!

    • Jennifer — June 12th, 2013 @ 9:42 pm

      They really are! 🙂

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