Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Feed My Starving Children 2012

For the past few years, a nearby church has hosted a Feed My Starving Children (FMSC) Mobile Pack Event.  Three of our very close friends call this church home.  This year they invited our family to join them to work a 2-hour shift during the three-day event.  After registering for a shift, I read about this nonprofit Christian organization online.  I learned they are fighting to eliminate starvation in children throughout the world.  My husband and I believe we were put on this earth to love others.  We encourage our young daughters to serve others by participating in service projects together on a regular basis.  Having the opportunity to serve with our friends promised to be a great experience for our family.

When we arrived for our shift, we were handed a hairnet and instructed to remove all jewelry.  After signing in, we took a seat in a meeting room and listened to a brief orientation which included a short video.  I struggled not to cry as we listened to a story about a young girl who had traveled a great distance to a medical clinic for treatment.  Her belly was incredibly distended, and she was in a great deal of pain.  Doctors thought she was pregnant until they discovered her belly was full of 8 pounds of pebbles.  She was starving, and the only way to disrupt the hunger pains was to put something in her mouth.  Anything.  And rocks were plentiful.  This gut-wrenching story was followed by many stories of hope...stories of children who were saved by the hand-packed meals provided by this organization.  During this introduction to FMSC, we learned it only costs $0.22 to produce a single meal.  Of all donations received, 93% goes directly toward the food program.  We were full of love and ready to work!

There were 102 volunteers working our shift.  For two hours, we worked in teams to pack a special food product that was designed specifically to meet the nutritional needs of starving children.  We scooped rice, soy, vegetables, a vegetarian-based chicken flavoring, and a vitamin and mineral mix into a funnel which dumped into a plastic bag.  Each bag held six meals.  The bag was weighed and sealed.  These bags were then packed into a box that would be loaded onto a truck.  Each box held 36 bags.  These boxes were shipped out to starving children all over the world.  


Here are some surprising statistics:
  •    102 volunteers packed 121 boxes of food in a two hour shift.
  •    As a group we packed 26,136 meals which is over $5600 of food.
  •    We packed enough food to feed 72 children for an entire year!
And this was just our shift.  The church "had over 1,000 volunteers take part by packing some 256,000 'MannaPack' rice meals to help feed starving children around the world."

Our daughters really enjoyed this experience.  Five minutes into it they asked when we could do it again.  They have mentioned going somewhere to pack meals on a few occasions since then.  I know Kids Against Hunger has a permanent food packing satellite in our area.  I would love to involve our Girl Scout troop and their families in a meal packing event.  Maybe the troop would vote to donate a portion of their cookie sale profits next year to FMSC or Kids Against Hunger?  Daisy Girl Scouts could participate in a service project such as this and receive a petal.  They could choose between earning the rose (make the world a better place), spring green (considerate and caring), or dark purple (respect myself and others) petals just to name a few.  Coincidentally, I have read that "The World Thinking Day theme for 2013 is based on two of the WAGGGS global action themes ‘girls worldwide say: together we can save children’s lives and every mothers life is precious’." Hmm...that gives me an idea... Thanks for reading!

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