Feed My Starving Children (FMSC) is a compelling name for a non-profit organization. It was founded in 1987 by a Christian, Minnesotan businessman who “felt called by God to help feed the starving children of the world during a humanitarian visit to Honduras.” (www.fmsc.org) When he returned to Minneapolis, he developed a method of packaging food to send as relief to suffering areas of the world. This pre-packaged food that is shipped by container ships to developing countries is known as “MannaPack Rice.”
FMSC relies on volunteer packers, willing to give a few hours of their time to scoop, bag , weigh, count and clean up the ingredients of the “MannaPack Rice.” Each single bag of food consists of rice, soy nuggets, vitamins, minerals and dehydrated vegetables. When mixed with boiled water, it is enough to provide highly nutritious meals for six children. In a few hours, MSB-Shakopee students, Tim Gwost, Julie Kavaney, and Liz Anderson, along with 52 other volunteers, packed 12,312 nutritious meals destined for Liberia, Africa, and the International Children’s Fund organization. That is enough to feed 34 children for a year, at the cost of $2,955.
What are the underlying cause of starvation in some countries? Drought and other difficult weather conditions bring low harvests and drive up the price of food. HIV/AIDS has a debilitating impact which leaves those infected weak and ravaged. Local farming systems, especially in Africa, are inefficient as productive workers die. Armed conflict and political strife, such as that seen in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Sudan and Zimbabwe, contributes to difficulties in obtaining food. Some countries do not invest enough in farming inputs, rural infrastructure or social services. Add to that the poor prices African farm exports demand on the world market, and you have a recipe for disaster. (Harsch, E. Africa’s Renewal. Retrieved from http://www.un.org/ecosocdev/geninfo/afrec/vol16n04/164food1.htm)
What compelling lessons did Tim, Julie and Liz learn? These comments were written on their reflection piece. “There are many that are less fortunate than us.” “Knowing that we are helping others can make you feel good.” “You can help make a difference in another community.” “There will probably never be an end to world hunger, but we can try to help as many people as we can.”
Feed My Starving Children accepts volunteer reservations. Go to http://www.fmsc.org/page.aspx?pid=465 and click on the volunteer registration to sign up for a date that works for you. There are six permanent locations, and two are very close in Chanhassen and Eagan, MN.