Peanut butter and jelly goes gourmet to help feed hungry children

ORANGE, Calif.

At Haven Gastropub in Orange, Chef Greg Daniels offers a new take on the old peanut butter and jelly sandwich as a way to raise money to end "SAM."

"'SAM' stands for Severe Acute Malnutrition, which is an issue that affects about 20 million young children, and 2 million of those children die," said Luke Mysse, co-founder of

Mysse says children, primarily from Africa and Asia don't have a strong enough nutrition foundation to survive. He teamed up with Mana, a Georgia company, to create a solution.

"It's called 'RUTF': Ready to Use Therapeutic Food, and it delivers to them the fats and nutrients that they need," said Mysse.

It's a 500-calorie packet of powdered milk, peanut butter and nutrients that delivers necessary proteins, lipids, vitamins and minerals. And it's been proven successful.

"Over 90 percent of kids that go on it never go back on it because they finally hit a stable weight," said Mysse.

Since peanut butter and jelly is a popular comfort combo, Mysse launched PBJ for Good in Orange County as a tasty way to raise both awareness and money.

"The chefs will put their kind of loose interpretation of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich on the menu, and it can be anything, a dessert, an entree," said Mysse.

Like the Blackmarket Bakery in Costa Mesa: They're offering up a double nut butter, double jam sandwich on almond bread.

Taco Asylum has pistachio butter and smoked bacon tacos, while Provisions market created a peanut butter mousse torte with blackberry gel.

The 10-day fundraiser runs through October 25, with each of the 14 participating restaurants donating a portion of the proceeds to benefit Stop SAM.

"A treatment is $50. So a box is six weeks of packets, three packets a day. And so $50 saves a life," said Mysse.

Some of the participants include:

  • ARC - Chef Noah Blom
  • Blackmarket Bakery - Chef Rachel Klemek
  • Broadway - Chef Amar Santana
  • Green2Go - Chef Adam Navidi
  • Haven Gastropub - Chef Greg Daniels
  • Little Sparrow - Chef Eric Samaniego
  • LUCCA - Chef Cathy Pavlos
  • Memphis - Chef Diego Velasco
  • Provisions Market - Chef Greg Daniels
  • Slapfish – Chef Andrew Gruel
  • taco asylum – Chef Greg Daniels
  • The Winery Restaurant and Wine Bar - Chef Yvon Goetz
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