Nutriendo PR launches investment fund to support innovative projects, nutritional security
Nutriendo PR, a recently created nonprofit to support, empower, and foster innovative projects dedicated to nutritional security on the island, sponsored a virtual event to orient about 100 participants about an investment fund aimed at supporting projects dedicated to promoting nutritional security.
Gualberto Rodríguez, co-founder of the organization, presented the fund during the “Opportunities and Resources to Promote Nutritional Security in Puerto Rico,” event, which was attended by Professor Uriyoán Colón Ramos of George Washington University and USDA officials.
During the fund’s first year, candidates will be chosen for up to four projects to receive a grant of $150,000 for three consecutive years, so that they can be fully developed. The selected entities will also have the support of experts in nutrition security to strengthen their abilities, Rodríguez said.
“In Puerto Rico, there is serious concern about food insecurity, which worsened during the pandemic,” he said.
“In addition to hunger, which exists here, the impact that food insecurity has on people’s health is alarming. Hence the interest of Nutriendo PR, to focus on the problem of nutritional insecurity, with an emphasis on the relationship between food security, health and the social determinants that affect them,” said Rodríguez.
Through an initial $5 million investment Nutriendo PR will work primarily in three areas: donations, mentoring and talent; connect leaders and organizations with nutrition, health, and equity solutions; and promoting nutrition security as a priority in the public and private sectors.
Among the fund’s goals are that the selected projects increase the motivation to consume nutritious food, the knowledge and/or skills to prepare said food as well as access to cost-effective nourishment sources, he said.
Selected projects must be active and have local or federal tax exemption, or a fiscal agent, as well show innovation, potential to scale, willingness to learn and collect data to drive significant impacts.
Applications will be available in the nutriendopr.org website through April 15.
In addition to the investment fund, NutriendoPR has on its agenda to meet a series of virtual and in-person events to open communication on these issues from the perspective of research, public policies, or promising practices.
The first face-to-face event will be a summit in November 2022. Through these initiatives, the organization intends to form a network of allies and collaborators committed to the nutritional security of Puerto Rico, Rodríguez said.