Social media campaign launched March 2 at URI to fight childhood malnutrition has already raised more than $2,500

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URI students kickoff #MakeYourGreenCount Challenge

KINGSTON, R.I. – March 5, 2015 – Luckson Omoaregba lived in Nigeria until he was 9 years old, but even now as a University of Rhode Island senior he remembers children in his native country suffering from malnutrition.

That’s why he didn’t hesitate to donate $5 to the #MakeYourGreenCount Plumpy’Nut Challenge, a social media campaign launched March 2 by four fellow URI students to raise money for Edesia, a Providence nonprofit that makes a protein- and vitamin-packed peanut butter paste distributed to children throughout the world.

“I was born in Nigeria, and I understand the plight of children suffering from malnutrition,” said Omoaregba, a senior communication studies major who lives in Pawtucket. “I have seen poverty and starvation.”

Some 220 million children suffer from malnutrition worldwide, a condition that is unacceptable to the students leading the campaign, including David St. Amant ’16 of Warwick.

“I’m so excited to be part of this project,” says St. Amant. “It’s a local campaign with a powerful global impact.”

St. Peter Tri-Parish School in Warwick has also joined, raising $405, which exceeds its goal. The school’s student council alone raised $200.

The other students involved are: Kylie Rice ’15, of Bridgewater, N.J.; Kimberly DeLande ’15 of East Providence and Sergio Suhett ’15 of North Kingstown. URI’s Big Thinkers student group also played a major role in building excitement for the event.

The quartet could feel a buzz in the crowded lobby of the Memorial Union as students made their donations at a table festooned in green and Irish items like sparkly paper shamrocks and green strands of beads. They posed for photos with URI mascot Rhody, who occasionally donned a green bow tie and bowler.