In May 2005, UPAVIM opened a soy foods production facility selling soy milk and soy masa foods to the community and the children of the UPAVIM school and day care. Dairy milk is relatively expensive in La Esperanza, so affordable, fresh soy milk at a low price fills a widespread nutritional need in these communities. We use the pulp of the soy in things like spaghetti sauce, veggie burgers, granola, cookies and pancakes at the school to increase the protein in the childrens' diets. We are also making soft-serve soy ice cream, which is a huge hit in the community! The production of these goods is increasing the availability of high nutrient, low-cost foods in our community, improving awareness of family nutrition needs, and expanding employment opportunities for the members of UPAVIM and the local residents. (UPA-Soya is temporarily closed due to costs of licensing and other issues – we hope to reopen soon!)
Special Thanks: Thanks to onsite technical support from Chuck Haren of Plenty International and to funds donated by Rotary Clubs in California (Piedmont Montclair club in Oakland, District 5170) and Colorado (Thompson Valley in Loveland), UPAVIM was able to purchase and install all of the necessary equipment to make this happen.