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Students help feed starving kids

About 50 students from St. Mary's School in New Richmond did their part to feed hungry kids around the globe.

The fourth through eighth grade students, along with four teachers and five parents, volunteered at a "Feed My Starving Children" packing event at St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Amery on Friday.

The crew was able to package 10,368 meals during their volunteer stint.

That's enough to feed 28 people one cup of food per day for an entire year, according to teacher Mary Rosauer.

St. Mary's School has helped the "Feed My Starving Children" effort for the past three or four years. This year they also raised about $300 through a penny drive to benefit the program, which is headquartered in the Twin Cities.

Feed My Starving Children (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.

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.

"Helping out the people at Feed My Starving Children felt great," said fifth grader Mya Ennis. "It gives you a great feeling just knowing that you helped so many kids that are starving. If we could, I would like to go once every month."

"Going to FMSC at Christmas makes me feel differently about Christmas because now I feel greedy asking for anything when some people don't even have food," said fifth grader Melissa Graham. "It also makes me sad because some people can't have a Christmas dinner. Going to FMSC might help someone have a Christmas dinner."

"We are very lucky, but you might not even know it," agreed Grant Riemenschneider, a fourth grader. "Jesus wants us to give what you have, and think about what you do have instead of wanting things that you don't have."