521,640 meals will feed 1,427 children one meal every day for a year.
By Russ Pankonin
The Imperial Republican
This year’s Feed My Starving Children (FMSC) MobilePack™ event prepared more than 521,000 meals for children during the five-day event held in Imperial last week.
One of the organizers of the event, Dick Banks of Imperial, couldn’t say enough good about all the volunteers and donors who made this another successful event.
This marks the third year the FMSC MobilePack™ has come to Imperial.
The organization that sponsors the event, Southwest Nebraska Meals for God’s Children (SNMFGC) committee, crossed a major milestone for the effort, packing their 1 millionth meal during the week.
Over the past three years, SNMFGC has packed 1,297,920 meals for starving children around the world.
Food Headed to Haiti
Kevin Ewing, an FMSC supervisor at the event, said the food packaged in Imperial will be headed for Haiti.
Ewing said the country is still reeling from the devastating earthquake several years ago.
As a result, food has been scarce for people in the mountain villages of Haiti, which is where much of FMSC’s aid to Haiti is targeted.
Right now, Ewing said Haiti is the largest recipient of FMSC food packages, followed by Nicaragua, the Phillipines and the East African state Kenya. The demand is so great in Kenya that they can only provide one meal every other day to children there.
1,340 Volunteer Slots
Banks said they had volunteers from 39 different towns and cities, with nine different states represented.
The states included Nebraska, Colorado, Kansas, Idaho, Florida, California, Georgia, New York and Nevada.
He said they are seeing many of the same people coming back to pack each year, creating a regional-like family that want to help feed kids.
With a total of 18 packing sessions from Tuesday through Saturday, there were a total of 1,340 packing positions that were filled by volunteers.
He said they had a number of volunteers who packed for more than one session, with a pair of Goodland, Kans., girls who helped throughout the whole week.
Banks said during a midnight madness session Friday night, volunteers packed a total of 385 of the 110 boxes packed during the event.
One packing cell full of experienced volunteers packed 110 boxes, or 23,760 meals, in a two-hour session. That set a new all-time record for FMSC of most boxes packed by one cell during a session.
Each meal pack, or manna pack as it’s called by FMSC, provides six meals.
It contains a vitamin- and mineral-rich, chicken-flavored powder, vegetable noodles, soy granules and white rice.
Once sealed, the food product inside the bag is good for at least 18 months.
Banks said the SNMFGC plans to sponsor another event next year, with tentative dates set for July 22-26, 2014.
He noted they are within close reach of their $115,000 needed to pay for the meals packed last week. He noted any additional donations will gladly be accepted.
For more information on donations or FMSC, people can contact Banks at 308-883-0397 or any of the other committee members: James Marlatt at 308-882-6386, Paul Hickman at 308-414-1407 or Rhonda Hickman at 308-414-1406.