‘Feed My Starving Children’ effort gearing up for March 24-25 in Grand Forks
Local goal is to pack more than 272,000 meals for hungry kids, mostly in Haiti, the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere – for some, it will be their only meal of the day, event co-chair says
GRAND FORKS – Twenty-nine cents buys a meal for a child who is hungry, according to the Feed My Starving Children program, which provides food to hungry children around the world.
“In most places, it is their only meal of the day,” said Jodie Storhaug.
She and her husband, Bruce, co-chair the Feed My Starving Children MobilePack campaign in Grand Forks. The local event, now in its 12th year, is planned for March 24-25 at the Minnkota Power Cooperative building, 5301 32nd Ave. S. This year, organizers have set a goal of packing 272,162 meals.
“That fills a semi-load full of food,” she said. Those meals “will feed 745 children for a year. … Most of the meals packed here go to Haiti.”
Those who wish to volunteer are encouraged to watch the website (search “Feed My Starving Children Grand Forks ND”) for openings that usually become available – as some spots reserved by groups do not get completely filled – in the two weeks leading up to the event. Donations can be made through the website.
“It takes 1,200 volunteers to make the event run smoothly,” Storhaug said.
On March 24, the first shift, 11:15 a.m.-1:15 p.m., has been filled by Riverside Christian School, she said, but she anticipates openings will occur in other shifts, set for 2:30-4:30 p.m. and 6-8 p.m. that day. She also expects openings will become available March 25 in shifts planned for 9-11 a.m., 12-2 p.m. and 3-5 p.m.
Due to increases in shipping costs and other related expenses, the price per meal has risen this year to 29 cents, after remaining at 25 cents for several years, Storhaug said.
So far, $62,500 has been raised toward the goal of $78,800 to pay for food to be packed at this year’s event, she said.
The deadline for raising the needed funds is two months after the packing event, she said, but “we usually reach the goal by the (start of the) event – which is comforting.”
At least 6,200 children die each from hunger-related causes, according to the FMSC website, attributing that statistic to UNICEF.
Feed My Starving Children, a Christian nonprofit organization, is “committed to feeding God’s starving children hungry in body and spirit,” according to its website, which cites Proverbs 22:9: “The generous will themselves be blessed, for they share their food with the poor.” The organization has made a difference in the lives of thousands of children worldwide, its website states.
The FMSC MobilePack events are “amazing,” Storhaug said. “We’ve got music going, and it’s just a very festive atmosphere. People are just really enjoying serving and giving a couple hours of their time. And at the end of (each shift), we report on how many meals they accomplished packing in that period of time. They find a lot of meaning in what they can do.”
“People usually return to do it, once they’ve done it once,” she said, “because it’s a pretty fun thing to do.”