For the eighth year in a row, Villa Maria College will host “Feed My Starving Children” food packing sessions to help fight hunger worldwide. This year, the event will be held in the Athletic Center on campus at 240 Pine Ridge Road Friday and Saturday, April 5 and 6. Volunteers and donations are needed to cover the $32,000 cost of ingredients for the 147,000 meals that will soon be poured into bags and shipped to places in need like Haiti, Nicaragua, the Philippines and countries in Africa.
Becoming a part of things is easy: To volunteer or donate, go to give.fmsc.org/buffalo or contact Dr. Kim Kotz, professor of physical therapist assistant and event coordinator, at 716-961-1837 or 716-949-4661 or [email protected]
Dr. Kotz started organizing the campus project in response to the 2010 earthquake in Haiti. As a mom, she feels an emotional connection with mothers around the world who need help getting enough food to feed their children.
“The thought, to me, of kids dying because they don’t have enough food is unconscionable,” Kotz said earlier this semester as she talked with a Villa public relations class working to promote the effort as part of their course work.
“The meals go to 70 different countries all over the world,” said Kotz. “Some of these meals literally get delivered in boxes on the back of donkeys and that’s how they have to get them to these remote villages, but they get where they need to go.”
Last year, FMSC delivered more than 365 million meals worldwide with 99.8 percent arriving safely, according to the national Feed My Starving Children nonprofit, fmsc.org.
An estimated 6,200 kids die of hunger and malnutrition every day, FMSC reports.
Each “Manna” meal, a nutritionist-designed fortified mix of soy, rice and dehydrated vegetables and costs just 22 cents. In one two-hour packing session, a volunteer will help assemble and seal plastic bags with more than 200 meals.
“I think with a lot of volunteer experiences, you don’t really see really tangibles like, ‘What does this really mean?’” said Kotz. At Villa, it’s easy to know the answer after working with an FMSC team on campus. “You can go home and say, ‘I just fed 62 kids for an entire year,’” said Kotz.
This news post was prepared by Alexandra Snow, a senior digital media and communication major, who has been working on this year’s Feed My Starving Children campaign as part of her senior project. Please write with feedback, ideas or support to [email protected]