Lansing couple creates local baby food brand “Koala’s Pantry” to target low-income families

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LANSING, Mich. (WLNS)— During the COVID-19 pandemic, many people have faced various economic challenges. However, many families who were suffering before the pandemic and qualified as low-income or impoverished have slim options to provide for their babies, toddlers, and kids in grade-school. 

Steven Manning and his wife Shantaye Guy after having their own toddler Steven Junior wanted to give back to their own community, and help future generations thrive by feeding children nutritional diets. 

“There are too many impoverished kids that can’t receive proper food in the world because they can’t afford it,” Manning stated. 

“You’re going to start them off one thing at a time to see if they’re any allergies in there that’s like the very first thing,” Guy said.

Koala’s pantry became a reality for this Lansing couple when they did proper research into baby food in the market and discovered several of these brands had harmful chemicals, unsaturated foods, and dangerous preservatives. The couple realized it was an ultimatum for them and others watching their budgets. 

“If you want organic food it can cost up to 15 to 20 dollars at times,” Manning Exclaimed. 

So they started to brainstorm and realized they should create a baby food snack brand called, “Koala’s Pantry” they create smoothie gummies for toddlers and they’re made with nutritional material like; chia seeds, monk fruit, and other superfoods good for the digestive system. The plus side to their brand is they only charge $5.00 a box with 6 packets inside. 

Manning and his wife say the best part is creating the gummies in their very own kitchen. They say it’s like a bonding activity bringing their relationship closer and having fun with their toddler. Steven Junior tests out all of the products, therefore, they know the gummies are baby-approved and are good enough to eat. 

“It is overwhelming to watch him take a snack and go ‘mmmm’ and then he goes let me get another one,” Guy said, “and he just keeps going into the container because that is just overwhelming because not only have we made a healthy snack, but a healthy snack kids can enjoy.” 

However, their main goal is to help the community and those who are facing low-income and want their child to have a successful growth-spurt, brain function, and future. 

Manning stated they will be approved soon for snap benefits and EBT.

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