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Troy Boe displays a "Send Hunger Packing" T-shirt and a handful of M&M containers that were used to raise funds for this weekend's "Feed My Starving Children" meal packing event in New Richmond. The event will take place in the Community Commons gym.

UPDATE: Volunteer spots still open for "Send Hunger Packing" event

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(Note: As of Friday morning, 40 volunteer slots for Friday and Saturday were still available at various hours of the day. If you have two hours to spare, take part in the meal pack at the New Richmond Community Commons. It's easy to participate and you're helping feed hungry people around the globe.)

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When this weekend's "Feed My Starving Children" meal packing event is finished, more than 230,000 meals will be on their way to feed hungry kids and adults around the world.

Coordinated by the Rotary Club of New Richmond, the upcoming two-day event involves local churches, businesses and individuals whose aim is to have an impact on needy people around the globe.

"It's all-systems-go for the event," said organizer Troy Boe. "I'm extremely excited about this. This is a wonderful event for the community as a whole."

The "Feed My Starving Children" organization from the Twin Cities will arrive with a truckload of food and packing supplies on Friday morning.

The packing project will be held in the Community Commons gym (New Richmond's old middle school building). There will be three two-hour packing sessions on Friday and four on Saturday.

Upwards of 1,000 volunteers will converge on the Community Commons on Friday and Saturday to package nutritious ready-to-cook, family-sized meals that will eventually be shipped to such places as Haiti and Africa.

"This food is going to people who need it very bad," Boe said

Volunteers of all ages have signed up for two-hour slots. A few more openings remain, especially on Friday, for those wishing to help out.

Visit http://www.sendhungerpacking.com/ to sign up for a two-hour time slot for yourself, your family or for a group.

Volunteers will be trained how to pack and seal each meal.

Organizers for "Send Hunger Packing" have raised more than $50,000 to support the community event. Faith Community Church, during its recent fundraising efforts, contributed more than $17,000 from its Rendezvous gathering at Ready Randy's. Faith Community is also committing part of its "Faith Works" summer community service project to packing meals.

"We've had a great partnership with all the local churches," Boe said. "It's been marvelous. We thought we'd only be able to fund one day of packing but we're doing two."

Boe said he's thrilled with how things are coming together as the big weekend approaches.

"It's gone 100 percent better than I thought it would," he said.

Things have gone so well that the Rotary Club of New Richmond and its partners hope to make the "Feed My Starving Children" an annual community event. Boe said the organizers might shift the meal pack to the winter months, when school is still in session and the weekends aren't as busy.

Founded in 1987, "Feed My Starving Children" is the original and largest supplier of nutritionally complete, packaged dry meals for the world's hungry.

Food scientists developed their all-vegetarian MannaPack rice meals to quickly reverse and prevent malnutrition. A power-packed formula of 20 vitamins and minerals (added to dried vegetables, soy protein and rice) provides complete nutrition for a child to grow and thrive.

Feed My Starving Children sends meals to partners in nearly 70 countries around the world.

FMSC produces enough food for 420,000 children. Each of these meals costs less than a quarter to make.

Did you know 10.9 million kids under age 5 die each year in developing countries? Malnutrition and hunger-related diseases cause 60 percent of these deaths. That's 18,000 children who die each day from hunger.

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