How two local companies are combining efforts to feed starving people around the world
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IDAHO FALLS — Two Idaho Falls companies are feeding millions around the world with hot water, potatoes and 15 seconds of prep time.
Kyani and Idahoan have teamed up to put their philanthropic efforts into developing and distributing the Potato Pak.
The Potato Pak is a fortified potato meal with essential nutrients including protein, fatty acids, and vitamins.
The City of Idaho Falls recognized both companies Wednesday at Kyani’s global offices for their charitable giving. Kyani founder Kirk Hansen, Idaho Falls Mayor Rebecca Casper and Idaho gubernatorial candidate Tommy Ahlquist spoke at the event.
“The unique partnership between Kyani and Idahoan is a perfect example of the far-reaching impact that occurs when altruistic businesses collaborate to create lasting change and solve complex problems,” Casper said. “It is an honor to recognize and extend appreciation to these two influential Idaho Falls-based companies.”
Hansen said the product was formed some four years ago and company administrators recognized there was a great need throughout the world to combat hunger.
“Not many institutions have utilized the potato – something that’s very dear to our hearts. Being able to use the potato and fulfill a need in the world was just really a dream come true,” Hansen said.
In 2016 another Kyani organization, Kyani Caring Hands, fed over 1.1 million people worldwide. Hansen said the organization has much more work to do and the partnership with Idahoan and Idaho Milk Products is expediting the process.
The companies have assisted hungry people in Ecuador, Peru and Nicaragua. The Potato Pak has also reached the Philippines, Hungary, Slovakia, and most recently Haiti.
“We’ve just done an expedition down there and so we’re very excited about the prospect,” Hansen said.
Everyone who attended the event Wednesday wrote a message of inspiration on a Potato Pak that will be given to recipients in Haiti.
“There’s so much need and we’re going to do a lot of good in Haiti,” Hansen said.