It's a wrap!
Nearly three pallets of food -- or more than 57,000 meals -- were boxed and shrink-wrapped recently at Feed My Starving Children in Libertyville after students, alumni and staff members from St. Viator High School in Arlington Heights and Loyola Academy in Wilmette went head-to-head in a friendly competition.
The first "Food Fight" drew participants of all ages from both schools and it wound up being a win-win for children and their families in the country of Peru, where the meals are being shipped.
St. Viator's president, the Rev. Corey Brost, worked alongside students and came away energized.
"My faith is renewed when I see young people like that working for a better world," Brost said. "I know that the word of God is alive."
Teams from each school worked together to measure nutritiously rich meals in pouches.
"Most of us think of charity or service as writing a check or dropping some change in a bucket, but have no idea what happens after that," Court Harris, Class of 2003, said, after participating in the competition. "At Feed My Starving Children, we turned those donations into something tangible."
Geared for severely malnourished children, each pouch contains enough to feed a family of six, containing rice, extruded soy nuggets packed with protein, vegetable flavoring that is rich with valuable vitamins and minerals, and dehydrated vegetables.
Feed My Starving Children has been drawing volunteers for more than 25 years in Chicago's suburbs, and in 2013 surpassed 850 million meals. The organization has sent more than 6.5 million meals to children in Peru alone. Pouches are distributed through missionary partnerships at orphanages, schools, clinics, refugee camps and malnourishment centers.
After two hours of measuring portions and packaging pouches, the "competition" was declared a draw.
"Combining the rivalry of St. Viator and Loyola with the outcome of meal-ready food for thousands made this really rewarding," Harris said.