Feed My Starving Children volunteers help feed thousands
Hundreds of area residents gathered last week to help feed thousands of starving children in the developing world.
Through a collaboration among area churches and Twin Cities-based Feed My Starving Children (FMSC), volunteers prepared about 250,000 life-saving meals Sept. 25-27 at St. Bridget's Parish School Gymnasium in River Falls.
Ahren Grebner, site manager for the three-day effort, said about 100 volunteers worked during the nine two-hour shifts. Each shift prepared about 25,000 ready-to-cook meals every two hours.
The meals were a mixture of chicken flavor, soy protein and rice -- all wrapped in a plastic pouch.
The food mixture was was specially formulated by Minnesota food scientists to address the needs of children suffering from malnourishment.
Just one cup of FMSC food per day provides the nutrients a child needs to survive and thrive. Each meal costs only 17 cents to produce, according to FMSC officials.
During Friday afternoon's session, volunteers were scurrying to package as many meals as possible, as filled boxes flew out the door and into a waiting semi-truck.
Several New Richmond and Roberts area volunteers were part of the effort.
Kathleen Purfeest, New Richmond, said she's helped out the meal packing effort the past two years.
She said the Feed My Starving Children organization is "impressive" and feeds a lot of kids worldwide. It's the kind of thing she can get behind.
"I'm retired now and I can't see anything better than volunteering for these types of occasions," she said.
Pam Benson, Roberts, agreed.
"It's such a worthwhile project," she said, "and it's kind of fun."
She took the day off from her job as a secretary in the St. Croix County Family and Child Services Department to help with the effort in River Falls.
FMSC is a non-profit Christian organization committed to feeding God's starving children hungry in body and spirit.
The approach is simple: volunteers of all ages hand-pack meals designed specially for starving children, and FMSC ships the meals to more than 55 countries around the world.
FMSC distributes the food to children in various community settings: schools, clinics, orphanages, refugee camps and feeding programs.
In 2007, FMSC sent 43 million meals around the world thanks to the work of 185,000 volunteers.
For more information, visit www.fmsc.org.