Story of Couple Growing Managu in US & Feeding Kenyans for Free

Afri Thrive 1
Screengrabs of immigrants lining up to receive food from Afri Thrive (Left) and Afri Thrive CEO Truphena Choti (Right).

Kenyans moving to the United States have found reprieve from a non-profit organisation Afri Thrive, founded and run by Truphena Choti and her husband.

Founded in 2019, Afri Thrive distributes organic and culturally appropriate foodstuffs including Managu to Kenyans and other African immigrants for free every Friday.

Together with her husband Professor Charles Choti, Choti - a Kenyan national - has been distributing meals to African immigrants in Delaware, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Maryland.

Choti noted in an episode of Chams Media, Daring Abroad, that the move is meant to support and ease the lives of Africans as they settle in the country.

Afri Thrive 2
A screengrab of Professor Charles Choti(Left) and Afri Thrive CEO Truphena Choti(Right) distributing food to immigrants.

“Having worked and grown up in Africa, I needed something that could connect me to the African continent and provide hope to others when they have challenges.

“America is a completely different environment with socio-economic challenges. You need to know where to get the right food and you need someone to guide you in choosing the neighbourhood where you want to settle down,” she stated.

Further, she noted that they majorly served immigrants from Kenya, helping them with orientation as they settled in different locations.

“The main beneficiaries are from Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Nigeria, Ghana and people from the Caribbean.

“Most African immigrants do two to three jobs so they are rarely in the house. Their kids come home and nobody is there to supervise them. They end up failing in school and being kicked out by the system,” added Charles Choti.

“Our first distribution was to about 40 families and we kept growing and connected with other non-profits that do the work including the DC Central Kitchen, which is a national non-profit.

“They helped us grow because we were able to get food from them to complement the ones that we plant and we reached even more families,” Choti explained.

The organisation owns a two-acre farm where they grow various food and vegetables including managu, beans, pumpkin, maize,  tomatoes and other products.

They have since established three distribution points in Washington DC and brought on board more than 30 volunteers. 

By the end of 2022, the non-profit had given out more than one million pounds of food to the communities in the US. The organisation grew and employed others to help in the day-to-day activities. 

Their goal is to establish a community kitchen back in Kenya to help feed school-going children who come from families that are not able to sustain themselves. 

Afri Thrive 3
Screengrab of Immigrants lining up for food at a distribution centre belonging to Afri Thrive.