Edesia receives $137M gift from Bezos Family Foundation

NORTH KINGSTOWN – A local nonprofit manufacturer that produces food to help malnourished children around the world received a transformational gift from the family of former Amazon.com Inc. CEO Jeff Bezos.

Edesia Inc. announced Friday that it has received a $137 million gift from the Bezos Family Foundation, led by Miguel and Jackie Bezos – Jeff Bezos’ parents – to help expand the nonprofit’s operations both locally and abroad. With the gift, which includes a $10 million matching fund to be launched Nov. 28 as part of “Giving Tuesday,” Edesia says it will double its impact and now provide approximately 10 million children with nutrient-packed food, including its signature “Plumpy’Nut” products.

Such production will help Edesia “save millions of lives,” the nonprofit said.

“Ending malnutrition isn’t just a slogan. It’s our plan,” Edesia founder and CEO Navyn Salem, said in a statement. “There are many problems in the world that we don’t know how to solve. Malnutrition is not one of them. We know what we need to do: Get life-saving food to children who are acutely malnourished or are at risk of becoming so. Thanks to this gift, Edesia is positioned to do just that.”

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Additionally, the gift will help Edesia expand its facility, based in the Quonset Business Park, to include more storage capacity, rail access and production line, the nonprofit said. Edesia also said it will add at least 50 new jobs – the nonprofit currently employs 140 people, according to Providence Business News research.

“More healthy and well-nourished kids mean a bright future for all of us and this investment in Edesia will allow them to reach even more children with this life-saving intervention,” Miguel Bezos said in a statement.

James Bessette is the PBN special projects editor, and also covers the nonprofit and education sectors. You may reach him at Bessette@PBN.com. You may also follow him on Twitter at @James_Bessette.

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