by Trent Thomas
Feed My Starving Children (FMSC) is a non-profit organization that was founded to help children around the world that have the most severe food shortages. Countries such as Ukraine, Indonesia, Syria, Mexico, and Chile make up 70 of the distribution recipients. The charity identifies areas where malnutrition is so serious, that death from starvation is a real concern. UNICEF reports that about 6,300 children die every day from starvation. FMSC specifically targets those areas of the world.
From January 18-21, FMSC is planning its largest southern Arizona food pack to date. The goal is to prepare 1 million meals for hungry children over the four-day period. Matt Young is the primary organizer of the event, “In Tucson, we understand how poverty can affect communities. In my experience one of the ways we can help ourselves is by helping others,” Matt added. “By showing others we are investing in them and in their community, everyone will benefit.”
FMSC has rented out the Tucson Convention Center and they have also enlisted the help of two local churches that will pack at their locations as well: Pantano Christian Church and Oro Valley Church of the Nazarene.
The entire event will require approximately 5,000 volunteers over the 4 day period in order to pack the 1 million meals. Robin Blumenthal is the family pastor at Pantano Christian Church, one of the organizations assisting with packing 350,000 meals during the event. “Our location will have participation from 13 different schools totaling around 600 kids.” Robin added they are expecting around 2,400 volunteers at the church.
The cost to participate is nothing; however, FMSC encourages volunteers to make a small donation so that the maximum resources can go to the areas in need. Additionally, Matt stated they always welcome corporate sponsors to assist with this event. To sign up, go to FMSC.org and click on the ‘Get Involved’ tab. Volunteer spots fill up very quickly so you are encouraged to sign up early. Matt said, “Over the summer I spoke at a kid’s camp for refugees. The refugee children were moved by the FMSC program and decided to raise money themselves for the program.” Matt was astonished that these refugee kids had nearly nothing with them except the clothes on their backs but yet they felt the need to donate to help other kids. “They saw a value in helping kids in more need than them.”
People are always interested in ensuring their donated time and money are going to the most efficient charities. According to Charity Navigator, an independent charity watchdog, FMSC has maintained the highest 4-star rating for the last 10 years. FMSC has earned this rating as a result of financial superiority, accountability of resources, and its degree of transparency.
“Right now we have the ability to feed everyone in the world. Why not give our time and efforts to assist those people in need?” Robin asked.
Picture: Volunteer teams work 2-hour shifts to assemble meals