Hello, Good Neighbors! I have another wonderful family-friendly volunteer opportunity for you!
Feed My Starving Children (FMSC) is a non-profit Christian organization committed to feeding God’s children hungry in body and spirit. The approach is simple: children and adults hand-pack meals specifically formulated for malnourished children, and they ship these meals to their distribution partners. FMSC meals have reached nearly 70 countries around the world in their history, including Haiti, Sudan, Jamaica, Bolivia, Dominican Republic, Tanzania, Lesotho, Liberia, Ghana, Guatemala, Malawi, Cambodia, Nicaragua, Sri Lanka, India, Indonesia, Cameroon, Niger, Colombia, and El Salvador, and to Hurricane Katrina victims in Louisiana, Mississippi and many more. Click HERE for a really cool interactive map showing their incredible global reach.
How to become involved:
The permanent packing site in Arizona has just relocated to a larger facility in Mesa, at Mesa Fiesta Building, 1345 South Alma School Road.
Your first step is to find a packing session. You’ll select the date you are looking to volunteer, and how many people you will be bringing. The next step will be to create an account, which allows for an individual or a family/group to register quickly. Choose which type of registration you are doing, and follow the prompts. You will be asked to agree to the Volunteer Age and Other Guidelines, which are as follows:
Volunteer Age Guidelines
Please follow the student-to-adult ratios when registering to volunteer:
- Grade 10-12: 5 students to 1 adult
- Grade 7-9: 4 students to 1 adult
- Grade 3-6: 3 students to 1 adult
- Grade K-2: 1 student to 1 adult
Everyone under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult. The minimum age to volunteer at FMSC is 5 years old. However, we recommend that groups of youth be 3rd grade and older. FMSC Staff reserve the right to amend volunteer scheduling.
Jewelry and other accessories present the potential for foreign objects to accidentally fall into our lifesaving meals. To avoid the possibility of losing loose objects in any of its meals, FMSC requires that all jewelry and other accessories be removed.
Community Service Hours
If you are volunteering as part of community service, please ask a team leader to sign a verification form immediately following a packing session, before leaving the building.
Then you will receive confirmation of your volunteer sign-up. Easy, right?
So, what are you packing? What are they feeding these kids, anyway?
From its beginnings, Feed My Starving Children has worked to develop a food mixture that would be easy and safe to transport, simple to make with only boiling water, and culturally acceptable worldwide.
With the input of scientists from major food companies in the Twin Cities area—including Cargill and General Mills—FMSC developed MannaPackRice, a formula consisting of:
- Rice, the most widely accepted grain around the world.
- Extruded soy nuggets, providing maximum protein at lowest cost.
- Vitamins, minerals and a vegetarian flavoring to give growing children the critical nutritional elements they need.
- Dehydrated vegetables for flavor and nutrition.
Packaged in small pouches, this easy-to-prepare food blend has won rave reviews all over the world. While the formula was designed to save the lives of severely malnourished and starving children, the ingredients also improve the health, growth and physical well-being of children who are no longer in immediate danger of starvation. A team of food scientists continues to monitor the FMSC formula to ensure that it meets nutritional needs of the world’s hungry children.
A single bag of food—which provides highly nutritious meals for six children—costs around $1.32 to produce, and 92 percent of all donations to FMSC goes directly toward the food program.
What else do you need to know?
Because FMSC does not receive free ingredients, and because they give the meals away to their mission partners, they ask you to help cover the cost of the meals you will pack. Although they don’t require it, they ask each volunteer to make a donation on the day you pack (cash, check or credit card). They even offer fundraising ideas for this!
If you have other questions, see their extensive FAQ page or call: 480.626.1970
And if you can’t make it out to a packing event to volunteer, you can still support FMSC. Visit their Marketplace, and you’ll find all kinds of apparel, home decor, jewelry and accessories!
What do you and your family do together to help others in need? Any local volunteer events we should know about?