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Feeding children around the globe

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The fundraising effort is underway for an upcoming meal packing event in New Richmond.

The Rotary Club of New Richmond, in partnership with Faith Community Church as well as other churches and businesses, is bringing the "Feed My Starving Children" organization to the community on Saturday, June 23, to package 100,000 meals or more to help feed hungry kids and adults around the world.

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Feed My Starving Children, based in the Twin Cities, is a non-profit Christian organization committed to feeding children in body and spirit.

The approach is simple: children and adults hand-pack meals specifically formulated for malnourished children, and the organization ships the meals to nearly 70 countries around the world.

According to Troy Boe, one of the local organizers for the event, the idea for hosting the packing event was borne out of Rotary International's ongoing initiatives to care for poor people.

"We want to do our part to fight world hunger," he said. "We want to help bring awareness to the fact that many children around the world are quite hungry."

In fact, every five seconds a child dies due to hunger related factors, Boe noted.

The local Rotary Club and its partners hope to raise $24,000 to pay for the materials and food needed to package 100,000 ready-to-prepare meals. Each meal costs about 24 cents.

Boe said if more money is raised prior to the event, more meals will be packaged. Organizers are now approaching local churches, businesses, organizations and individuals to raise the necessary funds.

The local effort will also be seeking about 500 volunteers to accomplish their 100,000 meal goal. Volunteers will be asked to pack meals during two-hour shifts on June 23.

Boe said he doesn't expect it to be too much of a challenge to meet the effort's funding and volunteer goals.

"I don't think it's going to be an issue to raise the money or have enough volunteers to do the work," Boe said. "It's going to be a collaborative effort. We want to get as many different people and groups involved as possible."

Anyone interested in donating or volunteering is encouraged to visit the "Send Hunger Packing: New Richmond" website at www.fundraising.fmsc.org/sendhungerpacking. For more information, contact Boe at 715-222-2731.

If the summer packing event is successful, Boe said the Rotary Club hopes to make "Send Hunger Packing" and annual occurrence.

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