Feed the Need packs over 100,000 meals for children around the world
Each February for the past decade, the Gerald Cares Program, has sponsored Feed the Need! MobilePack events in support of Feed My Starving Children (FMSC). During MobilePack events, hundreds of volunteers come together to pack nutritious meals for children impacted by malnutrition, which FMSC then distributes to countries around the world. While the Feed the Need! MobilePack event couldn't take place at its usually scheduled location of North Central College, Gerald Cares and FMSC were able to host the 2021 "Feed the Need Endeavor" at the FMSC Aurora packing location Feb. 12 and 13.
With social distancing and safety guidelines in place, 442 volunteers packed 506 boxes of food over the course of two days. Volunteers enjoyed packing meals during their 90-minute shifts. The boxes they packed will provide 109,296 meals to those in need -- enough to feed 299 children a meal a day for a year.
"It's wonderful to see everyone coming together to volunteer and make a difference. When you participate in a FMSC event, you know that you are turning hunger into hope," said Bob Huebner, co-founder of the Feed the Need! MobilePack.
When volunteers spend an afternoon at FMSC, they're making a direct impact on those suffering from extreme hunger around the world. FMSC estimates that 6,200 children die every day from causes related to malnutrition. The World Food Programme has said that 2021 will be a "make or break" year as nations on the brink of starvation are pushed over the edge by the effects of COVID-19. The Feed the Need! MobilePack is committed to funding meals even beyond what was packed at this event at FMSC Aurora and helping provide enough meals to feed 2,021 children a meal a day in 2021. As of early February, FMSC had already sent 185 shipments to 37 partners in 25 countries, which amounts to 50,749,092 meals delivered so far in 2021. Packing events like the one that the Gerald Cares program sponsors every year, are extremely important in helping FMSC provide millions of meals to children each year.
"While FMSC has had to increase packing food by machine due to COVID, it's still the generous donations of time and funds from sponsors like Gerald Cares that allow us to continue this important mission," said Huebner.
While large, off-site mobile packing events are paused due to COVID-19 restrictions, FMSC locations in the Chicago area are open and allowing volunteers to pack food as long as they follow health, safety and social distancing guidelines. Huebner said it's the perfect way for families looking for safe activities outside the home to spend an afternoon. As for the Gerald Cares organization, they're humbled that they've been able to help so many children around the world for so long, and were grateful that the Feed the Need Endeavor could still take place in 2021.
"We want to make sure that during times like these we remember that there are still people in the world who are waking up, not knowing where their next meal is going to come from. Through supporting FMSC we are able to put perfectly balanced meals in the hands to those who need it the most," said Donna Lawler, Vice President of Gerald Auto Group. "We hope next year to be able to not only provide financial support but to be right there with the FMSC staff helping pack to lend a hand, one meal at a time."
To learn more about Feed My Starving Children, visit www.fmsc.org.