Saving Lives with Soybeans in Guatemala

COCONUT CREEK, Fla. (Nov. 1, 2011) — Two containers packed to the brim with more than 88,000 pounds of soybeans have arrived to Guatemala City, Guatemala. Loaded in the tiny town of Moorhead, Minn., back in August, these fascinating little beans grown in the United States can be used to make milk, protein-rich meat substitute dishes, and flour. Soybeans, as a food source, are being credited for saving the lives of thousands, especially children, who are suffering from chronic malnutrition in the Central American country.

“The word malnutrition evokes many images in the mind of the reader, but most would be surprised or even shocked to learn that Guatemala, not Haiti, has by far the worst situation in regards to nutrition and children in the Western Hemisphere,” said Angel Aloma , Executive Director of Food For The Poor.

Food For The Poor began shipping soybeans to Guatemala four years ago after learning that soybeans and its byproducts are an excellent source of protein. The parish of San José has a group of women who cook meals for the Pastoral Social de la Parroquia San José in the town of San José Pinula. It is one of dozens of parishes benefiting from soybean product factories in the country.  

The women boil the soybeans using a solar-powered water system donated by the generous donors of Food For The Poor to extract the milk for drinking and to make cheese. They process the pulp, adding seasonings, and when prepared, its texture is very similar to ground beef. The mixture is added to meals the women freely give away to the sick and the elderly. They also sell meals to earn a living, allowing them to become participants in the economic growth in their own communities.   

“This project really touched my heart,” said Victor Morales, Food For The Poor’s Project Manager of Guatemala. “These people could not afford the meat and dairy products they would have to buy as a source of protein. Out of nutritional need and their willingness to try something new, they embraced the soybean idea and they made it work – they made it successful.” 

In response to the great need of the people of Guatemala, Food For The Poor’s donors have stepped up by donating two container loads of soybeans. The World Soy Foundation and member companies of the Northern Food Grade Soybean Association have teamed up in this fight against hunger.

"The World Soy Foundation deeply appreciates the rapid response that the Northern Food Grade Soybean Association showed when we identified this opportunity to do so much good in Guatemala," said World Soy Foundation Executive Director Nathan Ruby.

The bags of soybeans, with help from Caritas Arquidiocesana, will be distributed to the 25 soy product factories located in Sacatepéquez, Zacapa, El Progresso and Guatemala City. From there, the soybean byproducts will be taken to orphanages, schools and feeding centers.

Food For The Poor, the largest international relief and development organization in the nation, does much more than feed millions of the hungry poor in 17 countries of the Caribbean and Latin America. This interdenominational Christian ministry provides emergency relief assistance, clean water, medicines, educational materials, homes, support for orphans and the aged, skills training and micro-enterprise development assistance, with more than 96 percent of all donations going directly to programs that help the poor.

For more information, please visit

Wanda Wright
Food For The Poor
Public Relations
954-427-2222 x 6079