Elk Grove students pack 29,808 meals in 90 minutes
Officially, 81 children's lives were changed Friday when students from Adolph Link Elementary School in Elk Grove Village packed meals for Feed My Starving Children in Schaumburg. But Stacy Hartman, development adviser for Feed My Starving Children, says the number is much higher.
"You don't know which of these kids will be the next world-changer," she said as she gestured to the crowd of 550 students singing, cheering and dancing as they measured and filled meal bags at the Renaissance Schaumburg Convention Center. In all, after 90 minutes, 29,808 bags were filled, which equals 81 children somewhere in the Third World receiving a meal a day for a full year.
"We will take a 5-year-old filling bags every day over a machine," she said as she explained how children are influenced by the idea of helping others. "Kids feeding kids. We love it."
Link principal Quinn Wulbecker said the school brought first- through sixth-graders, leaving the kindergartners at school because there were not enough stools for small children to stand on to reach over the tables. In addition to packing meals, he said, students raised almost $3,000 through a variety of efforts. One stood out in his mind.
"A third-grader showed me a rolled-up ball of tin foil in his hand," he explained. "He said 'I saved my apple seeds from lunch and I'm going to plant them and sell the apples and donate the money.'"
Feed My Starving Children is a nonprofit that uses donations to fund the science-engineered meals and volunteers to pack them. The organization partners with food distribution organizations to place the meals worldwide. Officials expect 6,000 volunteers to pack 1.4 million meals this weekend at the Renaissance Schaumburg Convention Center. To volunteer for a packing event, sign up at fmsc.org.