Feed My Starving Children (“FMSC“) is an awesome way to give back as a family, helping combat starvation and child malnutrition throughout the world. It began in 1987 and is now providing meals to hungry people in 70 countries.
In 2014, I visited Feed My Starving Children for the first time. It was a wonderful experience. And one we have done again and again with my kids over the years, Feed My Starving Children is one of the best experiences you will ever share with your kids. I can say that will confidence.
The Feed My Starving Children Volunteer Experience
Before I ever entered the doors, I knew Feed My Starving Children would be a good experience, even a life changing one, but what I didn’t understand was how much we were actually needed.
Feed My Starving Children depends on volunteers. Without the volunteers, the food would never be packaged to ship to the countries in need. And because you never know what you will get with volunteers, FMSC has created a well-oiled machine with it’s process that almost anyone can slide right into and get to work.
Our very first shift was 2 hours long. They have since cut them down to 90 minutes.
Before you start, you meet your foreman and learn about FMSC. Then, you are separated into different duties. Some pack food, some label packages, and some haul supplies from the warehouse to the packaging centers. Even at the food packing stations there was order. 2 volunteers scoop ingredients, 2 are bag openers and weighers, one seals the bag, and one packs the bags in the box.
Each packed box is celebrated at its station with a cheer. There is a lot of cheering!
After an hour of packing, our crew packed 77 boxes. It was incredible. When packing was finished, they divided up the cleaning tasks and everything was shipshape in 10 minutes. Okay, maybe 15. On our way out, we were able to try a sample of the food that we packed. For a staple food, it was delicious with rice, veggies, vitamins and protein–the children are able to get the nutrients they need to grow. If you stop in the giftshop after volunteering, you can purchase a Solidarity Kit, which includes a meal like the one you just packed and discussion questions about world hunger for around the dinner table.
FMSC is a Christian organization, and it doesn’t apologize for that. It welcomes everyone and anyone who wants to pack food. When the packing is done and the total number of meals packed is given, those who want to are welcome to go back into the storeroom to pray a Christian blessing over the food. But there is no pressure.
It was incredibly special to pack together with Maya. It was so significant that the food we were scooping and measuring, weighing and sealing was going directly into the mouth of another child. We were honestly and tangibly feeding the poor.
It was a wonderful lesson for me. Everything we did was simple but needed to be done right. I had just as much opportunity to mess up as my 9 year old. And I did. This service project put us on the same level. There was nothing that I could do better than Maya–and that was a wonderful feeling. We were both needed for the same thing.
I appreciate FMSC for the hands-on way we give back to the world. I know I’ve said it before, but we were actually feeding the hungry. We also were able to learn about nutrition needs and about other cultures.
FMSC relies on donations to purchase the ingredients and supplies and shipping fees. It relies on people to volunteer and pack. It also relies on God to take care of their needs to be able to help the needs in the world.
If you don’t think you can get to one of the three locations–Chanhassen, Eagan, and Coon Rapids–to volunteer, you can also consider purchase items from their Marketplace which helps support this organization.
Volunteering for Feed My Starving Children With Kids
Volunteers sign up to pack the 22 cent, dried, vitamin-fortified meals for 2 hour shifts. Children as young as 5 years old can join their parents. They have different ratios per the age of the children.
- Grades K-2 is a one to one ratio.
- Children in grades 3-6 require a 3 to 1 ratio.
- Junior high kids are required to have 4 to 1.
- Grades 10-12 have a ration of 5 to 1.
While there is a maximum number of volunteers per session, you don’t have to be a part of a group to register to participate. On average a volunteer will pack one entire box per shift which equals 216 meals worth $50. Feed My Starving Children chooses to use volunteers instead of machines because their mission is dedicated not only to feeding starving kids, but feeding starving spirits.
If you want to make a tangible difference in this world. If you want to have one of best date nights with your children you could possibly have, contact Feed My Starving Children. I promise you won’t regret it.
What to Expect When You Volunteer at Feed My Starving Children MN
FMSC is a Christian non-profit organization committed to feeding God’s children hungry in body and spirit. The approach is simple: volunteers hand-pack meals specially formulated for malnourished children, and we send them to partners around the globe where they’re used to operate orphanages, schools, clinics and feeding programs to break the cycle of poverty. FMSC food has reached more than 70 countries in our history. Although, FMSC offers nation-wide mobilepack events, we are lucky that Minnesota has three permanent FMSC packing sites. With permanent sites, we can schedule or volunteer time around our own family schedules. Learn more about how you can become involved.
Where The Feed My Starving Children Food Packs Go
FMSC has sent food packs to over 104 countries since their inception. See a list of the areas served and learn more about the the impact here. You’ll also get an overview of this information and learn which countries your packs will be shipped to during your orientation at any packing event. According to their annual report, they feed over 700,000 children a daily meal each year in countries like El Salvador, the Philippines, Nicaragua, Afghanistan, Ukraine and more. FMSC goes where the need is, supplementing the food supply to countries with the worst hunger crisis – whether undernutrition is caused by war or years of drought or natural disaster.
How to Volunteer at Feed My Starving Children
Many organizations will host volunteer events for members and/or employees, but your family can just choose to volunteer on their own as well. Sign up for a packing event here.
How to Donate Money to Feed My Starving Children
FMSC gets an A grade from CharityWatch and spends a large percentage of donations on actual meal production and Give Minnesota tells us that 99.8% of all meals shipped get to their intended destination. There are several ways to donate money to help fund FMSC — from a one-time donation to monthly contributions. Learn about options and make a donation here.
A day of volunteering with kids at Feed My Starving Children can be a part of lifetime goal of teaching our children compassion with meaningful service opportunities.
images courtesy of Feed My Starving Children, used with permission