By Lasca Randels
WARSAW — The fifth MobilePack for Feed My Starving Children Event is taking place this week, with a goal of packing 272,000 meals.
The event at Lincoln Elementary School began Wednesday, July 28, and continues Thursday.
Feed My Starving Children is a Christian non-profit organization that coordinates the packaging and distribution of food to people in developing nations.
The first MobilePack event in Warsaw took place in 2014, with subsequent events in 2015, 2016 and 2018.
A MobilePack event was scheduled for October 2020, but due to COVID-19, all FMSC production was shut down and automated packing production was implemented.
Megan Stone, the chairperson for Warsaw MobilePack, said the program is just now beginning its relaunch program.
“The relaunch started in June and we are actually the largest relaunch to date,” Stone said. “We’re expecting to pack 272,000 meals with 1,300 volunteers.”
According to Stone, 4,276,800 meals have been packed over the past four Warsaw MobilePack events, which fed 11,715 kids.
FMSC sends staff and a supervisor to run the event, Stone said. There is a steering committee in Warsaw to coordinate details.
“We cooperate with FMSC to implement their plan,” Stone said.
This year’s event includes COVID guidelines. Volunteers were asked to sign up in groups of 10 and were then assigned to a station with their group. Masks are available at the site.
There are still volunteer spots available for Thursday. To register, go to warsawmobilepack.com.
Donations may be made through the Feed My Starving Children site. Each meal costs 25 cents and the meals are shipped to partners in 70 different countries around the world.
“In the past, FMSC has shipped 365 million meals per year, so basically a million meals a day, so they have multiple permanent sites around the country but also host mobile pack events where they bring the materials and the ingredients to us, we find the volunteers and we pack the ingredients,” Stone said.
The meals include rice, soy, vitamins and vegetables and are scientifically formulated to help children who are malnourished.
The local MobilePack event has previously been held at Madison Elementary School in Warsaw and the Gordon Rec Center in Winona Lake.
“This is our first time with a smaller scale event, but we’re just happy to be a part of their relaunch program in support of FMSC,” Stone said.
She described becoming involved with the FMSC organization in 2007 when her family participated in a MobilePack event in Minneapolis.
Stone was later invited on a FMSC food and action trip to Haiti.
“My family and I traveled to Haiti with FMSC staff and we were able to go to five different missionary partners and see where these meals are being served and really got to see the impact the meals are having on lives,” Stone said.
“It was hugely impactful to me. Just knowing that our community can be a part of the greater global community, enriching the lives of others and living outside of ourselves and also just living the mission that God calls us to live when he says feed the hungry.”
Volunteer shifts for Thursday are: 11 a.m. – 1 p.m., 1:45 – 3:45 p.m. and 4:30 – 6:30 p.m., ending with a cleanup session. Hairnets will be required and provided for all participants.
“I think people sometimes don’t know how to help, aren’t sure what they can do. ‘How can I impact starvation?’” Stone said. “This is one way you can feasibly make a difference in the lives of others around the world and help end world hunger.”