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Students spend field trip feeding the world's hungry

St. Croix Central fifth grade students pack special meals into bags at Feed My Starving Childrn during their Nov. 12 field trip as a chaperone (far right) looks on. Pictured (from left) are Tekle Sundberg, Gaige Mullet, Austin Albright, Sam Spaeth and Brooklyn Mishler.1 / 4
St. Croix Central fifth grade students measure the ingredients that go into the special meals they packed at Feed My Starving Children in Coon Rapids, Minn. during a fieldtrip on Nov. 12. Pictured (from left) are Morgan Clark, Carah Fitzgerald and Hayden Reil.2 / 4
Katie Tate poses in the banana costume she wore to Chuck E Cheese's after the Feed My Starving Children Trip. Tate's class raised the most money through the penny war the fifth-graders held to raise money for their trip.3 / 4
As a result of the penny war the fifth-graders conducted to raise money for their trip to Feed My Starving Children, Principal Scott Woodington (right) dressed as a banana on Friday, Nov. 16. Josh Woodington (left) joined his father, also wearing a banana costume, as they greeted students as they arrived to school.4 / 4

Instead of taking their usual fall field trip to Fort Snelling, this autumn 101 fifth-graders from St. Croix Central Middle School went to feed some starving children.

The St. Croix Central fifth grade class took a trip to Feed My Starving Children in Coon Rapids, Minn.

Feed My Starving Children (FMSC) is a nonprofit organization, founded in 1987, with the goal of feeding malnourished children around the world. The organization served approximately 153 million meals to children in 70 countries in 2012, according to its website,

SCC fifth grade teacher Mindy Rudiger said the trip was such a success, the middle school plans to make it annual. The Fort Snelling trip, Rudiger said, will be moved to spring.

"Things went so well and the people at FMSC were really great to work with," Rudiger said. "They were happy with how things went with us, and complimented the fifth-graders."

FMSC volunteers pack special meals formulated to meet the needs of malnourished children. The SCC fifth-graders packed 14,256 of those meals on Nov. 12, when they visited FMSC's Coon Rapids location.

Rudiger said the fifth-graders also raised money to help pay for the meals they packed. The fifth-graders held a "penny war" to raise money for the meals. Rudiger said the students raised $713.39 for FMSC. She said that is enough to feed 39 kids for a year.

Rudiger said each fifth grade classroom competed to collect the most pennies for FMSC. The classroom teacher that earned the most money wore a banana costume to the fifth-graders Chuck E Cheese's lunch after they finished packing meals at FMSC. As an added incentive, if the fifth-graders collected more than their goal of $500, Principal Scott Woodington promised to wear a banana costume to school.

As the fifth-graders exceeded their goal by more than $200, Rudiger said Woodington wore a banana costume to school on Friday, Nov. 16.

"It's really cool to see kids who we see every day in our regular daily routine just go to town and be so helpful and hard-working," Rudiger said, "and put their efforts into helping other people."

Rudiger said she felt the trip was important for the students because of the life lessons it taught.

"It teaches them that there are people in this world that aren't as fortunate as us," Rudiger said. "And I think it's really an eye-opening experience for them."

Gretta Stark

Gretta Stark has been a reporter for the River Falls Journal since July of 2013. She previously worked as a reporter for the New Richmond News from June 2012 to July 2013. She holds a BA in Print and Electronic Media from Wartburg College.

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